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Session: Secrets of the Lost Tomb:: The Crown of Medusa, or how this game turned my wife into a broken, gibbering lump

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 02:12:03 +0000

by mvettemagred I backed the original Kickstarter for this game. I went all in, including painted minis. After nearly two years and dozens of plays (mostly 2-player with my wife), including the Epic Adventure, my wife and I still really enjoy this game every time we sit down to play.This past Friday evening my wife surprised my by asking to "fight zombies" (that's her code phrase for playing SotLT). By Friday evening she's usually too tired to play a game, so I don't even ask. But since she suggested it, I set up the game. I chose the scenario called "The Crown of Medusa" (or something like that). We had not played that scenario before. It's rated "Hard", and after setting it up, I could see why. Everyone starts with half health, -3 Courage, no items, and stuck on level 3. Also, there is a random creature on each level. Yikes! (This scenario is in the Ancient Myths & Legends expansion.)I played Mickey O'Sullivan, while my wife played Hadji(?) Singh. To win, we needed to find the Sword and Shield of Perseus, then kill Dr. Wiseman. The Sword is needed to damage Wiseman, and the Shield protects against being turned to stone. So while the Sword is a must, the Shield is not required to win.Our first few explorations caused several more creatures to spawn. We spent the first 2-3 rounds just fighting creatures and trying to stay alive. My wife made good use of Singh's ability to control one creature and have it attack another. This helped control the ever-growing batch of creatures on our level. I managed to find a Pickaxe (Strength weapon that ignores creature Armor), which meshed well with my high Strength. I also found an Iron Helm, which provides 1 Armor at the expense of 1 Knowledge. Again, this item worked surprisingly well for my character, who already had an increased Knowledge from one of his Companions. The Helm prevented several damage throughout the adventure, while the Pickaxe allowed me to quickly dispatch the many creatures with Armor that I faced.One of our Tomb cards advanced the Comet Track 2, and we also had to advance the track once due to exceeding the creature limit. Try as we might, we couldn't find anything (no Sword, Shield or Dr. Wiseman). But the accelerated Comet Track advancement caused Dr. Wiseman, to find us!As this time my wife was off exploring in another part of level 3 when she managed to have a misadventure that caused part of the ceiling to fall on her, breaking her leg. Her movement was reduced to -1, and we missed the BGG rule clarification that she could still move 1 room per action, so we said she was stuck in her room. She searched her room and had another misadventure, this time resulting in her Courage being set to -10! Since we ruled that she couldn't flee, we said she would just sit there screaming in pain and madness. She role-played this condition very well. (She died on the next Tomb Phase when two creatures entered her room and killed her).When my wife's Courage dropped to -10 we were going to quit the game and call it a loss, but I said, "Let's just finish out the round." Wouldn't you know, I finally found a "scenario 3" room and the Sword of Perseus. Now I could attack Dr. Wiseman and try to kill him.Don't click the following spoiler if you don't want to find out an in-game scenario effect:[o]He had already turned into Medusa at Comet Track 5, so I had to be careful of his "turn to stone" ability. I didn't have time to find the Shield of Perseus.[/o]I managed to attack Dr. Wiseman once before the Tomb Phase. With Perseus' Sword, my special Adrenalin ability and my last Audacity, I was able to deal 18 damage in this one attack, leaving the good Doctor with only 7 life. He attacked me in the Tomb Phase and I killed him, rolling the minimum number of successes required!This was the first time we had won with only one adventurer left alive. We really pulled victory out of the jaws of defeat. A scenario that started out with us wondering how we would even survive the first couple of rounds ended in a narrow but exciting victory. My wife now wants to play the scenario again to s[...]

Session: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet:: How I achieved "almost impossible" with first play

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:10:05 +0000

by ledlauzis Dear fellow conquerors of Mars!I could not miss the ability to share my first game (intro mission, medium difficulty, solo play) session report, where I finished in Sol3 AND confirmed this with Ignacy who described such feat as "almost impossible" apologies for any grammar mistakes, as English is not my native languageso here goes... warning: this is going to be a long read but I just wanted to have a response to those who claim that the theme isn't thereSOL 1...dum-du-dum-dum-dum .. dum-dum-dum-dum-dum... the sounds of Marimba shattered the nightly silence of the HUB. "Who in the name of everything that's holy decided that it is good idea to put the ancient "Marimba" ringtone for messages from Earth??" thought Mr.Engineer, however, reluctantly rose from the bed and went to the Control room. Ms. Geologist woke up as soon as he returned. - "What's up?" she asked. - "I have good news and bad news: the good is that we know what those IKEA "Backup gård" boxes are for we have brought with us, the bad news is we have a new mission to do in 7 sols..." was the response "... and I would better not go to the lab for the next 3 sol's, there is some leak of reagents that will take that time to vent out". - "Damn, don't we have to use the lab to nurture the seed for planting?" "Nah, I suggest, neigh, I insist that we build ALL the backup systems ASAP and think about the Lab afterwards!" responded Mr. E "and I'll need your help as well!". - "B-b-but we won't have time to do all the connections correctly that could compromise the wiring for the whole Systems block..."- "How about you let me to think about the construction tasks and I won't teach you how to dig rock from the ground!"- "Fine, you're the boss this sol! Will you at least let me to use my AOM to scout the nearby area with Froggy?"- "Whatever... as long as you spend at least half of day trying to interpret the notorious IKEA instruction book with me, jeez, MCEI could have found better sponsor..."[..]As she was guiding the Froggy back to garage after successful trip, Ms. G could hear the angry steps of Mr. E approaching in the hallway. Door swung open angrily- "Those bloody authors of the instructions, if I could lay my hands on the one who devised indicating the parts numerically but bolts&nuts alphabetically, argh..." the angry voice of Mr. E preceded his physical appearance in the room- "What's the matter? I thought everything was going smoothly when I left you with solar panel and oxygenator already done."- "Well yes, but the farm has newer edition instructions that were completely different from previous ones, also it became dark very soon, so I couldn't complete wiring of the other buildings... But I'm superdetermined to complete it tomorrow"- "So that's why the control panel for systems block has lit up more red lanterns than the district in central Amsterdam! Well at least I have managed to explore the vicinity to the south and visit a POI indicated by mission control without slightest hiccup!"- "Wow, that truly made my spirits better, I'll tell you what: you eat the fresh food from the farm, I'll grab the frozen biscuits from the stack, you've deserved this!"SOL 2The morning came with the discovery of 2 food units that were rotten.- "I told you the circuits would be compromised, look how the CC for the one storage area has turned the food into fertilizer..." - "Don't worry, I am supermotivated to complete the bloody farm and start repairing the circuits with your help!"- "Woa, woa, look where your building frenzy brought us! I'm calling the shots this sol, and to make repairs we shall need to gather some spares and MCEI mission control has indicated the perfect source - Marsfarer probe which is nearby. In addition we need to keep exploring further south to determine the location of Stargazer 3"- "Well, I was not brought here to have excursions every day but to do some real stuff, at least my friend AOM is trustworthy until the end. You could at least check what's up with these clouds at the horizon that mission control wa[...]

Session: Rise and Decline of the Third Reich:: To Bremen or Not to Bremen…that is the Question: Turn 17 – 1941 Fall Axis

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:06:30 +0000

by OU_Sooner Initial ThoughtsThe German airborne died as well as some Italian air last turn. Vichy France will activate, and the extra fleets will help, but the 2 RC units are not really going to add anything. The allies rolled lucky last turn, but the axis should be able to occupy London this turn. One question will be whether the axis roll a big exchange on the attack on London. If so, that will be costly. If the Axis roll a 4, 6 combo that would be devastating as the axis would have to lose 40 units worth of men. StartDoW: None. But Vichy France activates for the Axis.Option Selections: Germany: West (Offensive), Med and East (Attrition) 15 BRPs (93 Remaining)Italy Med (Attrition), East and West (Pass)voluntary destruction of units: noneMovementThe Vichy French fleets change base to Suez. The British do not attempt interception. The Italians designate a 9 fleet in northern France for supply. The Italian 6 factor fleet in Suez was also designated for supply. There are more than 9 axis units in Great Britain. The two axis units on hex I25 are not in supply. However, they are next to some British units and they could attack.Movement ends with no change to the setup in Romania.The entire board looks like this after movement:*Note: there are 10 power on London (a tank and two infantry); there are a 9 fleet, a 3-4 infantry, and a 1-3 infantry on Portsmouth; there are a 6 Italian Fleet (designated for supply) an unused 9 fleet, an infantry and a 1-4 air on M21-Cherbourg in France; There is a replacement counter and 5 air on Great Yarmouth; GB looks like this:*Note: there are 10 power on London (a tank and two infantry); there are a 9 fleet, a 3-4 infantry, and a 1-3 infantry on Portsmouth; there are a 6 Italian Fleet (designated for supply) an unused 9 fleet, an infantry and a 1-4 air on M21-Cherbourg in France; There is a replacement counter and 5 air on Great Yarmouth; MissionsFor missions, the German air on Cherbourg counterairs the 1 British air in Wales and the 5 German air on Wilhelmshaven counterair the 5 British air on Great Yarmouth.The German navy embarks 2 tanks from Kiel and 2 tanks from Bremen and is going to sea transport them to Rosyth. This sea transport mission poses a mortal threat to GB and GB must now attempt to inflict as many losses as possible on the German navy. If the British win the naval battle then the transport mission will be turned back to port and the tanks won’t make it to GB. In that case, GB would likely live one extra turn.CombatCounterair results: K25: Germany 4, Britain 2. Britain loses 2 factors, Germany 1.I22: Germany 3, Britain 2. Britain loses 1 factorBritain attempts to intercept the Naval Mission at hex J29. Gibraltar fleet fails (die roll 5), Portsmouth fleet succeeds (die roll 2). But, the Italian fleet at Cherbourg sorties and counter-intercepts the British fleet at Portsmouth (die roll 1).Naval Combat: Italy 5 -2 = 3, Britain 4 + 1 = 5. Italians lose 2 factors, British 1.Naval combat at J29. Germans 3 + 7 = 10. Britain 2 + 1 = 3. British lose 7, Germans lose 3.The Gibraltar fleets inability to intercept left the sole fleet at Portsmouth with no real hope of victory. There were two possible results that could have helped GB. If GB had won the Italian fleet battle and then won the German fleet battle, the German navy would have been returned to port. This would have been the most preferable result for GB. The next best result would have been for GB to lose as bad as possible, thereby inflicting as much damage as possible on the Germans. The rolls came pretty close to the second desired outcome, with the British losing 7, which caused 3 Nazi boats to sink to the bottom of the sea. Also, the results leave the Germans with exactly 32 fleet factors, which is exactly the number needed to sea transport all 4 tanks into GB. Had the allies sunk one more fleet factor then one panzer division would have been loss, but that didn’t happen.The sea transport mission concludes with the 4 panzers mov[...]

Session: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords – Base Set:: Damsels of Distress - a Solo campaign playthrough of Rise of the Runelords

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:26:01 +0000

by DocSavage2001 Ok, so I already have a very enjoyable campaign going with the most current version of the game, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy's Mask. I am running three characters in that campaign.I didn't even own this version any more, having given it up during my Great Game Purge from a couple of years ago. But with Mummy's Mask, and even more with participating in Pathfinder Society Adventure Guild organized play every Wednesday now, I kept thinking back to this set. It didn't help when we started playing the Pathfinder Guild season based on Rise of the Runelords and I started seeing all the familiar locations and cards coming up again. So... I'm weak. Now I own it again.But I wanted to do something different than my usual three character party. Playing on Wednesday nights, having five or six characters presents interesting challenges in beating each scenario with the extra locations but same size Blessings deck. BUT playing five or six characters where your turn only comes up one in five or six times? Not so much fun, really. I think that in multi-player play, 4 characters/players is the sweet spot.So I decided maybe I could try to run a five character party? Then I wouldn't have to to wait for my turn. It would always be my turn! I'd get to see more locations in every game. Get the extra and different challenges from having more characters and locations, same Blessings deck size. (The game really does play differently.)First, I had to see if my table could even HANDLE playing a five character party with seven location decks. It can:Then, for my party, I wanted the whole Rat Queens/Amazons of Themiscyra/One Deck Dungeon vibe for my party... But I wanted to try to build the RPG aspect of my playthrough with Runelords this time, like I've been doing with Mummy's Mask. So I wanted a name for my party, something as cool as Rat Queens. I came up with one I love and just hope it hasn't already been done somewhere before (like a Roller Derby team or something?).So, let me introduce the Damsels OF Distress:Seelah - the human Paladin - She doesn't mind being a mercenary, as long as the causes the party takes are against evil. Even a paladin has to eat.Amiri - the human Barbarian - self-imposed exile from her homelands, she seeks the camaraderie she lost from her tribe. Getting to kill tons of things now is just a bonus.Seoni - the human Sorcerer - the only Arcane magic wielder in the party, she knows the treasures of the mystics will be hers alone with this group.Kyra - the human Cleric - she think she's saving the souls of her teammates with her presence, she doesn't realize they are saving hers as well.Merisiel - the Elven Rogue - the only non-human in the group, socially distant and aloof, no one is quite sure yet, WHY she is with the party, but since they need her distinct skill set, none question it either.Around the campfire at night, you can find Seelah and Kyra debating the merits of Iomadae and Serenrae, while Seoni pores over mystic scrolls and Amiri sharpens and oils her blades. Merisiel will be at the edge of camp, barely in the glow of the fire.This bunch of sell-swords (or daggers or clubs or darts...) has come to the town of Sandpoint because they have heard trouble is brewing and trouble usually means business.ADVENTURE: Perils of the Lost Coast (Prologue Adventure)SCENARIO: Brigandoom! (Scenario 1 of 3)A group of Sczarni bandits, with a new leader, Jubrayl Vhiski, has become quite brazen (and dangerous) in their affronts against the people around Sandpoint and the Damsels think that a freebie mission or two will help build their name and reputation as the go-to mercs. Cleaning up this scum should be a good start.Although this game came down to the very last turn, it wasn't about running out of time, but rather setting up the characters in the right spots for the final blow. The Villain had been located hanging out at the Waterfront. Amiri, with her Survival skills was placed to cut off his potential escape to the[...]

Session: Eldritch Horror:: Hopelessness is the enemy of everything.

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:23:36 +0000

by HiveGod

What began as a somewhat perfunctory campaign against Abhoth—The Font of Pestilence aggressively replumbed by our monkeywrenching antics—deteriorated suddenly, unexpectedly, in the final act. A rash of Dark Pacts came due and scrubbed half the party, and the very last thing we needed to do—go down into the cavern labyrinth and confront the thing pooled in the deepest recesses there—we failed at four times in a row.

Doom hovered at three as I drew my too-late replacement character: Professor Harvey Walters, most famous for having spent an entire game of Mansions of Madness hiding in a trunk with a broken leg.

We were boned. What could he possibly do, this old man and his musty book, where a crack team of gear- and experience-laden globetrotting monster hunters had failed?

It was obviously pointless, what with the sun dim as the full moon on most days, masses of birds struck dumb and flightless wandering silently overland in great carpets of glossy-feathered bodies, reports of babies being born without so much as a whimper, their eyes heavy with an ancient resignation that sapped everything good from all who saw it in them...

But having wandered away from his caregivers, heeding the call to horror once again, Harvey had to at least try.

And so his story, in fullness, consisted of nothing more than a trip to Chicago where he fell prey to a crooked card game that left him saddled with debts he could never hope to repay, then, traveling north to the farthest reaches of the Canadian Waste, he was tracked by his brutal creditors to a native fishing outpost where they secured their reputation by tricking him into eating a poisoned meal—dead by dawn, surely—and so Harvey wandered into the white, unprepared, unprovisioned, and then down, down into those caverns hot and wet like great, cancerous lungs, where he happened upon the thing that dwelt there and lured it into eating him, bursting with the black bile that stops life, and so the thing choked mightily upon him and perished, freeing the sun, the birds, and the babes for another cycle.

Session: Pirates of the Spanish Main:: Return of Cadet-Captain Mike's random setup tables

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 22:59:17 +0000

by a7xfanben Just played a game with Repkosai using Cadet-Captain Mike's random setup tables! Repkosai made the rolls to avoid my bad luck giving us a more boring setup. He rolled a 5-4-6, which gave us: "Free ships totalling 8 masts; One generic crew on each ship, plus two generic crew & one named crew (all free)".With that, it was clear that you could afford many of the lesser used small ships with high point costs.Repkosai went first with an American fleet:[card="80828"] Enterprise [/card]+[card="80848"] Commodore David Porter [/card], cargo master, helmsman[card="111571"] USS Kettering [/card]+ captain, helmsmanI went with one of the strangest fleets I've ever constructed, and possibly one of the oddest fleets of all time:[card="126562"] Barnacle [/card]+ helmsman[card="111454"] Loki [/card]+ helmsman[card="75251"] HMS Swiftsure [/card]+ captain, stinkpot specialist[card="108691"] Seven Brothers [/card]+ helmsman[card="108690"] Sea Storm [/card]+ captain, helmsman[card="111587"] Dharma [/card]+ [card="98861"] Bonny Peel [/card], helmsman[card="111581"] Kalaallit [/card]+ captain[card="108685"] Le Jongleur [/card]+ helmsmanRound earth rules. I made sure to include various UT's, including some wacky and potentially game-changing ones!The Americans head northwest, while the mixed fleet immediately scatters. My strategy was to raid the American HI with the Loki and Jongleur after the Enterprise docked home. The Sea Storm was a suicidal pest, while the Dharma and Swiftsure were more tactical gunships (especially the Dharma, with Bonny Peel potentially being a nice surprise between the named crew in the opposing fleet and the Longship's +1 boarding bonus). The KL was a hybrid, but ran gold at the start. The Seven Brothers and Barnacle were the most direct gold runners, and I wanted the Barnacle to find at least one of the UT's I dumped in...In an annoying circumstance for both sides, the Enterprise picked up Enemy of the State! Not only could the Americans not unload her gold, but the mixed fleet couldn't steal it via HI raiding! At the extreme south and east of the sea, the Dharma and Loki look to round earth and surprise the Americans. The Swiftsure and Sea Storm watch the Kettering, almost as eager to stay out of range as they are to pounce.In the south, the KL finds Ammunition and Driftwood. In the north, the Barnacle finds a UT and some good gold, along with the Dead Man's Chest UT. The DMC was included since the unique setup rules allowed me various free generic crew. I purposely included only 1's for regular coins, in order to maximize my personal benefit if the DMC was used properly. With 3 of the islands explored and only one left, the Swiftsure knows what she must do....With the Enterprise unable to dock, the Americans headed northeast to try and eliminate the Dead Man's Chest UT from the Barnacle. I made a comment about blowing the game up, but little did the Americans know, I meant it literally! In what looked like a bizarre and suicidal move, the gold-laden Barnacle rammed the huge and powerful Enterprise! The other UT the Barnacle had found was... Explosives! I rolled a lucky 6 and both the Barnacle and Enterprise were blown up!! Luckily the Enterprise had found some Driftwood of her own (separate from that on the KL), which saved Porter, who grabbed onto a log just in time for the explosion to simply throw him to a nearby wild island.However, this was just the beginning of my nefarious plans, as the Seven Brothers finally explored her island to find another crazy UT: PLAGUE! The Swiftsure had the fastest base move in my fleet, and immediately zoomed up to the SB and grabbed the Plague. This eliminated the Swiftsure's captain and stinkpot specialist, but the Plague was more valuable in deterring the Kettering from interfering with the endgame, which was approaching quite rapidly. As for my other ships, the KL is headed home with gold, the Jongleur lo[...]

Session: Outlive:: Intense 4 player game and some afterthoughts...

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:30:30 +0000

by King of Odonata So, I got to play my copy of Outlive with 4 people yesterday (having only played a 2-player game previously) and I really enjoyed it. The game felt tight as resources were constantly running out and pressure was really...putting pressure on other players. There are so many things to consider with each movement-resource gathering for feeding your survivors, building rooms, repairing equipment, and solving events. And then you have to consider if someone's bigger hero could come in a put pressure on you and vice versa. Each move has so many consequences I find it very intriguing.And all the things that can hurt you I love in this game and never once felt picked on, whether it was an event causing some devastating changes or a bigger group of heroes coming in and raiding my party. Everything is really thematic and flows really well. And you always can work around what is going on by gathering the correct resources or carefully planning your moves and buildings. We even had the events that boost the endurance on animals by 1 and decrease their food value by 1. And one player had the hawk that can steal meat. Food got really tight as a result of all these things and it was really awesome as it caused some smart playing as well as aggressive moves.I did win the game with 28 points and the person in last with like -9 or something like that (I didn't count and they picked up their things quickly). Seemed like a dramatic spread but I have a feeling with multiple plays and experience, that spread would shrink. I never once felt like something that happened to me or the other players were the result of some random effect or bad luck, but more so due to our plays. Sure, the city tiles are random, as are events and starting buildings, but all are relatively open information you can plan around. Never go to city planning on finding a specific thing, look at it as more of a bonus option unless you are getting equipment and/or causing pressure. One player felt like the game really had a rich get richer feel to it, but I really don't see it. Sure, in ANY worker placement/resource management game, when someone manages to accumulate lots of resources, they can sometimes maintain a lead. But in this game, you also have to constantly spend resources to just maintain your shelter and keep your survivors alive. There were many rounds that I dropped down to 1 or 0 commodities and low materials but I was able to come back from it. One player also didn't like how game altering the need to hunt for food was but I don't understand how you make a resource management post-apocalyptic game without food being hard to acquire and thus game altering.So, my only current issue with the game is 2 players vs 4 players. With 4 players, the game was tight and there was a lot of fighting over resources and causing pressure. In the 2 player game, resources were hardly ever an issue and pressure pretty much never happened (in fact, even when we could possibly make a move to cause pressure, we ignored it, taking a different move that more greatly benefited one player). Bullets were only ever used for hunting or solving events in the two player game, but were used quite a bit in the 4 player game. In fact, I think bullets were actually under-valued early, not realizing how useful they were at protecting oneself from pressure and then how they can be used in conjunction with hunting to allow both the gathering of food and materials. We also had the event pop up where we had to lose either two materials or two bullets, thus their importance increased.Not sure what change I would make for 2 players (I've yet to try the Horde expansion) but for the main game, I could see drafting rooms instead of dealing them out randomly. It would add some more strategy as well as mitigate drawing multiples of the same room. [...]

Session: Scythe:: Automa Session 2 with adammal

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:54:15 +0000

by adammal

Had my second automa session today. Setup was lightning fast this time around thanks to the handy new Daedalus insert that I purchased and painstakingly put together. My copy was also sporting some new realistic resources and meeplesource specialized meeples.

Used the Scythekick app to choose factions and got Saxony with the mechanical lower mat, along with Polania and Crimea at the Automa (normal level). Great, a nice crushed-together Southwest part of the board.

The beginning of the game proceeded pretty normally. I used the local mountains and tundra to upgrade, get some mechs, and eventually get across the river to get a mill. I was a little late to get my workers out, but was able to get the engine cooking as the Crimeans and Polanians raged around me.

The combative nature of the tight board led to lots of early combat and I wasn't able to keep up on the Power race with the two automa. Thankfully, they eventually got near each other and started just pinging each other.

The game came to a fast end just as I was starting to use the tunnelling ability to get some cheap territories in the Northeast (and trying to get some more juicy encounters); Polania finally maxed out their power bar after getting two combat objectives too.

The final score was tight. The structures bonus for the game was buildings adjacent to tunnels, which helped me greatly to stay even with Crimea (who had turtled the factory), with us tying at 76 and Polania close behind at 72.

Very fun match. Took about 2 hours (including set-up/teardown). Much improved time thanks to the Daedalus inserts and the Scythekick app.

Looking forward to playing another match soon, probably at the same difficulty level (though I may upgrade the difficulty of one of the automas if we are further apart).

Session: Panzer (second edition):: Triplicate Panzer

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:19:36 +0000

by brianmccue Yesterday six of us got together and played a total of nine games of GMT Panzer. This is a second edition of the old Yaquinto game of the same name, and the rules have converged to become identical with those of MBT, now also in a second edition (AH's game of the same name having been first). Not only are the rules the same, the factor scales are the same, so you can see how many T-34's it would take to defeat an M-1, if you want.Some of us being beginners, we followed the advice of the rulebook and played the Basic Game, first scenario, first. It is a generic tank-only battle in which eleven Pz IV Gs and ten T-34c's are fighting for control of three river crossings. By playing it, we started to understand the implications of the game's turn sequence, which isSpottingGiving OrdersDetermining InitiativeShootingMovingBecause of this sequence, the orders (which are chits mandating Fire, Move, Fire with a penalty and Move a little, and Overwatch) are given in ignorance of whether or not one will have the initiative, and therefore must either be suited to both outcomes, or embody risk.I was surprised by how seldom we used the "Fire with a penalty and Move a little" order: I used it only a couple of times and I don't think that my opponent Joe (who won) used it at all. Conversely we used Overwatch so much that we ran out of the counters.The scenario being generic, it allows for starting either nationality in either set-up position. After the first game everybody wanted to try the other side's tanks, so we kept our seats and swapped counters. I think everybody had concluded that the other side's tanks were better.In the second game, now armed with Russian tanks (which are better, but fewer in the scenario) I tried conceding one of the river-crossings and contesting the other two, rather than fighting for all of them and getting none, as I had the first time. This approach worked slightly better and when Ryan announced that lunch was ready Joe and I decided that our game had turned into a stalemate: each side was in a good position and was getting Overwatch orders.After lunch, we added some non-Basic rules. These included a hit-location system (similar to that of the game's early-80s Yaquinto first edition), choice of ammo (APCR, by any other name, vs normal: you have to roll to see if they guy rooting around for ammo can find an APCR round), and the possibility of getting stuck when exiting difficult terrain such as a gully or even woods. Of note, the game designer seems to believe that this "bogging" was a much bigger problem for German tanks than for Russian ones. I had not seen that idea before, but with the T-34's emphasis on mobility, maybe it's true. Also, APCR is not the pure goodness than it is in other games; in Panzer, the different ammo types embody complicated trade-offs between hit probability, penetration probability, and the amount of damage done if penetration occurs.My second game having gone better than my first, I decided that in the third game I would concentrate my tanks to the stacking limit and use their superior speed (once again I had the Russians' highly mobile T-34s) to concentrate against smaller numbers of German tanks, kill as many as possible, and then get a bridge or two at the very end if additional victory points were needed. This almost worked: with a large number of tanks against a few, I could give everybody a Fire order. If I then got the initiative, I would wipe out the few enemy tanks, while if I lost the initiative they might kill a few of my tanks but then the remainder would kill them. I made this work a time or two but Joe is a skillful opponent and he kept it from working very well, while having a couple of crews drive around painting iron crosses on bridges.In the end, the nine games were split 5-4 as to which side won; I think that the G[...]

Session: 4 Player Checkers:: Playing 4 player draughts with the wife and daughters

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:17:53 +0000

by whac3

This afternoon, I played this game (4 player draughts or checkers) with my wife, who suggested the game, and my two daughters, one age 6 and the other age 4. Everyone is familiar with regular 2 player draughts as appropriate for their age. It's a game I've used as one of the first game to ever play with both daughters. My wife in practice has far more experience of the game than I do though because my father despised the game. I however gained a renewed respect for the game when it was used for examples in graduate level math classes.

In the end I did win but I thought I was starting the game badly. My younger daughter forced an exchange with me for the first capture. In a 2 player game, exchanges are even but in a 4 player game, they put one at a disadvantage relative to the players not involved.

The older daughter at first did great with a wedge formation but she could not keep it together when the rapid exchanges involving multiple players start. In that respect, this game can be like Chinese checkers but where the pieces are removed from the board. She ended up with 3 kings but did not know what to do with them and was wiped out second.

My younger daughter had great fun but she's still 4yo and so doesn't plan ahead. She likes jumping pieces. She doesn't care if she's setting herself up to be slaughtered. That she was the first eliminated from the game, and that much sooner than anyone else, was no surprise. It was good timing though as she was beginning to lose interest.

My wife's experience showed IMO. I was thinking for much of the game that she would win, but I know the theory of the endgame well. She says she doesn't. I thought mostly our daughter inadvertently forced my wife into a couple of exchanges that worked out well for myself.

My wife resigned when the only pieces left were her single king and my own two kings. She figured I had the win in the end, and the girls were impatient for attention.

Session: T.I.M.E Stories:: We had to check on BGG on how to solve it (SPOILERS)

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:11:41 +0000

by Norbert Chan

Greg had gotten this as a gift from his company through Air Miles. I didn’t know you could buy games from Air Miles. There were five of them: Greg, Don, Jean, Trevor and Craig, and they had made one run, failing at the last stop of the doctor’s office. Somehow Don had to dance with a toilet plunger and his calves got sore. Coming into this coop game with no context, I was a little confused. I had arrived after lunch.

I joined in as the 6th player, and I paired up with Don. We were Mademoiselle Dourme. Trevor was Vasil La Founi. Craig and Jean were paired up and were playing Eugene Bosquet. Greg was Felix Bonnefont.
After starting in the Day room we went to the Dormitory, Infirmary, Kitchen, Promenade, Park, Greehouse then back to the Promenade as we could go Under the Kiosk, but we ran out of time.

After our second run, uncovering Park, Promenade, and Greenhouse. I thought the game would be easy to uncover after this progress.

Now we didn’t realize if you ran out of time on your first two missions, you can go to TU of 30, rather than start at 25, then keep going no matter what. So we kept going on another run. Don had said that we had not gone into the Catacombs at all and we needed to find out what was in there. The Catacomb forces you to be together to fight 3 monsters, and after that, we got to go to location 16. That led to location 14, and we all died (but coming back after 7 TUs) when we couldn’t beat the monsters individually. Don and I had chosen Marie Bertholet, the erotica character who can talk her way out of anything, but not a fight, apparently.

At run 4, we realized we should have been starting at TU 30 and playing the game in it’s entirety. We had a vague idea of what to do: somehow the five pentagram numbers, you had to add all but one, then subtract it. Problem was, we couldn’t find the fifth pentagram. We stopped the game to look and look. Before this point, Jean had left, not too happy with the game. We kept searching and searching, for about 15 minutes. Don joked that Jean had taken the card with him. We were about to give up when Greg exclaimed it was on the key in front of him.

But now we were entirely stuck. We had played the game as an exploration game, looking for items, fighting monsters, getting deliberate dead ends, and did not clue into the fact that you had to look carefully at the pictures for clues. I think if that was read out in the rules, then that would have made sense to us, but we were playing it as a straight explore game, without the interpretation element similar to Dixit or Mysterium. We had seen the pictures of the doctors, with five of them marked with red symbols.

Greg had to leave soon, so we broke down and searched on BGG.
The answer revealed itself soon enough. The drawing from the day room tells you which letters to read in the pentacles to uncover the clue.

It was interesting to see how the solve the puzzle. It’s a bit too different for my tastes. As I mentioned before if someone had told me I had to pay closer attention to the pictures, then it might have clicked for me. I enjoyed the experience part of it, but the interpretation of the pictures was a bit tough for me; I suppose with experience I know better to look at every picture carefully now.

Session: Renegade:: Missionlog: Hettie Magnetic - Easiest dive ever. [CODE: ALPHA-MOBY]

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:22:18 +0000

by genesyx

> INITIATE [Network dive]
>> ALPHA HACKER: CODENAME "Hettie_Magnetic"
>> TYPE:
>> Code ID#29CU_v8.9: "Clockwork Plague.exe"
>> Code ID#47AG_v11.5: "Dreams of Salvation.exe"
>> Code ID#79AU_v20.53: "Neutrino-Scanner.exe"



Datalog: Cycle #1, 1st attempt

Ughh! Moby jammed my login & delayed my deception tools. How am I suppose to take down the plague with all these useless cognitions?? I'm an artist, not a nerd... and what's this spark generator attached to my leg?


... At least the shack's plentiful. I'll just trade in these greens for some leadership, & pick up this Exotic Software for good measure. Now I'll just shift these pesky sparks aside to make room for a virus upload, & wait for my remaining tools...
It's not like I'm on a timer or anything right?

Oh wait.

Datalog: Cycle #1, 2nd attempt

Now we're talking! Destruction & deception, now THAT'S my forte, though these red programs could use a lil' upgrade. Now I'll just modify this new spark into another deception unit... upload another with this Exotic Software... and PRESTO, my first replicator! Now I'll just upload another virus & shift it to another partition.
Nothing confuses a clockwork plague like some stray viruses.

..... Well, except for an orange maybe.

Datalog: Cycle #1, final attempt

With my replicator online, now I can really wreck havoc. Also to all renegades: Why do your own Decrpytion when you can outsource it to the Black Market? Saves time AND the risk of being deleted by the security system. Just sayin'.

Anyway, let's start by uploading 3 replicants & convert the new spark into an uplink... I must say, this spark generator is REALLY helping me out a lot. In fact, it's kinda like my personal material supplier.

Granted it's trying to kill me, but meh you can't pick your sponsors.
Now how about that propagator....

> "Clockwork Plague.exe" TERMINATED.



- Signed, Magnetic

Session: The Solo System:: The Solo System does: Twilight Imperium (3rd edition)

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:24:04 +0000

by radchad Note: this was originally posted as a geeklist item.SO yes, I should be working on my game for the summer solitaire contest. Or making Tabletop Simulator modules for other people's games or something. But I have been so busy as of late, and I just want to sit down and play something. I saw this thread. I wanted to try this. I have had this game for a long long time. And no real chance to play it because I am never going to have the time to do this with a group.The Solo System might work, but I wanted try this guys variant. So I am posting here to commit to playing this game.Game is all set up. I have spent the week reading the rules. I am playing the Barony of Letnev. My opponents are Universities of Jol-nar, Federation of Sol, The Emirates of Hacan, The Yssaril Tribes, and (what will probably be my nemisis) Sardakk N'orr.Edit: So turn 1 turned out very interesting. I am playing the black player. Green advanced into the center of the galaxy very fast. Then blue plays a political action that makes it impossible colonize a planet for the rest of the turn. He pulled this off because he had a fair amount of voting power and all votes had been spent by the time it was his turn. Then of course red commits hari-kari by doing an all out expansion into my territory. Which was probably a suicide mission because my dreadnaught made short work of his settling fleet. It was iffy though. I did have superior fire power, but I only had one ship and he had a few. Now red is looking pretty dim. I am still not sure if I am making a full attack on him yet in round two. But I think it might actually be a good idea. Problem is that I am then battling two fronts. Not sure how I feel about that. The solitaire variant is working ok so far, but I really have had to use the solo system to get real direction as to what to do. I am not drawing a personality card as the races and the solitaire variants are really good at creating that personality. Where the Solo System is shining is giving a general tactic aproach when choosing roles (as opposed to the random approach of the listed solitaire variant). At this early point of the game, the toughest opponents seem to be me, green, and yellow. Purple is leading the tech war, but he suffers from not having great stuff around him. (and yellow coming to look for trade as well as blocking his ability to get out of that corner of the universe.)Turn 2: Wow. This game is awesome, but it is such a beast to solo. The Solo System is working great for it. But using the solo system for 5 different AI's is a lot to think about. The AI's are a bit unpredictable with their shifting alliances and with all of the action cards and special powers ... so this game is going to take me a while to play. Probably all of this month.Red after suffering crippling losses against me was more open to bargaining. I said i wouldn't attack him if he would go after green. Which was a pretty good deal for both of us because I could in fact take him, but I would waste a lot of energy doing and then green would likely take the game. Yellow are playing the trading lions (Emirates of Haccan), and they have allied with green. They are in a serious position to win with their producing power and sharp trade agreements. And they decided to be a pain in the ass and block my ability to expand into a juicy production planet. I could attack them, but I was really hoping to trade with them.Blue has been my buddy on the opposite end of the galaxy. I can't actually reach him, but I am looking forward to trade with him and support him politically. It helps that he is the human player.Purple is kind of blocked off by Yellow. I think purple was looking to trade with yellow, but yellow is being kind of belligerent based [...]

Session: Nemo's War (second edition):: Designer Chris Taylor tries a new Motive: WORLD ORDER

Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:03:53 +0000

by Alan Emrich Nemo's War designer Chris Taylor was here during the closing days at the VPG offices on Harbor Blvd to get in a playtest game of the new Booster Pack Motive: WORLD ORDER. Honestly, I had played it a few days ago and, as originally designed, it fell completely flat. Chris and I were both bummed about that because it really "looked good on paper."So, I spent some time this AM before Chris' arrival and gave it a redesign that, in retrospect, was pretty darn clever and created an interesting new Motive to play. Here's a quick rundown:WORLD ORDERCaptain Nemo ventures to create a new world order employing the methods of the Great Powers against them.Setup: Treat this Motive as Anti-Imperialism.Staring Nautilus Upgrade: Arcane LibraryTile Values:Warships Sunk: +1 eachNon-Warships Sunk: -1 eachAdventures: +0 eachTreasure: +0 eachLiberation: x5 eachScience: x4 eachWonders/Allies: x3 eachNotoriety Defeat = 44 (Anti-Imperialism)Special Rules: 1. When drawn from the Treasure cup, you may place Wonder (Treasure) Tokens directly in vacant Land spaces on the map where they cease to be Treasure and instead become “Ally Tokens” (codenamed in Nemo’s network as that Wonder). Only a vacant Land space can be the target for placement of, or receive, an Uprising Cube or an Ally Token (i.e., they cannot coexist in the same Land space).2. Ally Tokens provide a(n additional) +1 DRM each when the Nautilus performs any Action or TEST while present at that Ocean.3. Ally Tokens can also operate in their respective Oceans independently of the Nautilus (i.e., without its presence there required but, naturally, without its Ship Upgrade card benefits either). By designating any Ocean where you have Ally Tokens, you may spend 1 Action Point to Incite or Search there (remembering their DRM).4. Ally Tokens are never subject to losses from any sort of TEST Failures (including as the result of Attacks), but do count them (along with Revealed Ship Tokens and Uprising Cubes) when the Imperialist Powers strike back at each Ocean during a Lull Turn. In this case, they can be taken as a loss in lieu of an Uprising Cube. 5. At the beginning of Act III, if you change from this Motive tile, place your Ally Tokens in the Collected Treasures box where they revert back to normal being normal Wonders Treasure Tokens. If you change to this Motive you will be building up your Allies from scratch at that point.6. At the end of the game, they score the same as Wonders do (i.e., 3 Wonder VPs each).Chris started with the Archane Library and some interesting new Upgrades available:Chris piloted the Nautilus and I assisted with the rules and keeping the tokens tidy, discussing this new Motive and what was so interesting about it as the adventure unfolded on the map. In the end, Chris took more of a pleasure cruise (being in no way as mindful of scoring as our estimable tester Wes Erni is) which, as it should, got very hairy indeed when the last turn was reached. Chris passed the Modus Vivendi with Disraeli using the last of his Emergency Resources, and then passed the Nemo's Diary test (which would have ended the game in Defeat if he had failed!). His final score was 209 points after a lucky surge at the end.Our post-game debrief found the Ally Tokens to make for an intriguing game opening, providing lots of opportunities to "shape the board" and prepare Oceans for future activity (and possible return trips). Chris was torn between collecting Treasure Tokens early on and then spending them, later on, to keep the Nautilus in repair and the Incitement Actions succeeding to avoid rusing to a Notoriety Defeat (but hey, those cubes were also worth 5 VPs each, which is nothing to sneeze at).The mix of Nautilus Up[...]

Session: Assault of the Giants:: Firdt flour player gaming session of Assault of the giants.

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 22:43:55 +0000

by Brother Horus

We have just finished playing our first 4 player session last night and I thought I would give a very impression of the game.

Firstly the player...
Myself - Stone Giants - 7 games played
My Better Half - Frost Giants - same
Mikey - Storm Giants - sane
Simon - 2 games played.

Let me just say that as a 3 player game we all have this around 6 to 6.5.

We chose the giants so there were 2 starting at each end of the board.

Stone and Storm Giants were the early runners followed by the Frosties.
However once the Fire Giants brought out the Dragon slayer the game twisted around. The Stone Giants raised 3 areas and were not aggressive enough, the Frosties lost two champions and recruited too slowly, the Storm Giants inexplicably forgot to activate Hekanon event and was playing catchup.

Hook Line and sinker were always in the fray but due to dodgey dice rolling were not too effective.

End result was a close run fight for first between the Frosties and Toaties with the Toasties winning. The Stone Giants allowed themselves to get stuck a d made a silly error or two and ended up joint last with the stormies.

What everyone agreed was that this was s really good game. Tons of strategy and tactics, with a bit of chaos thrown in.

We all sent the games praises and thought the starting giants all worked really well.

A thoroughly enjoyable and challenging strategy/area capturing game.(image)

Session: Target for Today:: Mission to Larrisa, Greece - 22 Sept 44

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:52:53 +0000

by Limburger59 B-17: Prophets of Doom : B-17-G 10-VG-42-4005279th Bomber Squadron, 509th Bombardment GroupMiddle Squadron – MiddleMISSION DATE: 22 Sept 44MISSION # 147 (8th mission this bomber)TARGET: Larissa, Greece - Marshaling YardCREW(Current Mission) [Previous Kills] Position – Rank(08) [00] Pilot: CAPT Elijah Woods AM, PH(07) [00] Co-Pilot: 2nd LT Samuel Hamilton AM, PH(08) [02] Bombardier: 2nd LT Jeremiah Fleming AM(08) [00] Navigator: 2nd LT Ezekiel Frank AM(08) [04] * Engineer: MSG Hosea Garcia AM(08) [00] Radio Operator: SGT Nahum Houston AM(08) [01] Ball Gunner: SGT Micah Holmes AM(08) [00] Port Waist: SGT Jonah Shaw AM(07) [01] Starboard Waist: SGT Zachariah Pratt AM, PH(08) [01] * Tail Gunner: SGT Malachi Bennett AM, PH* = 1 killBomb Run:On Target 60%Casualties: NoneB-17 Damage:S. Wing Flap inop (10)S. Wing Superficial (1)Peckham Points: 11Landing: Safe landing at FoggiaAttackers: 15 9x Bf-109: 1 Destroyed, 2 Probable, 5 Driven off 3x FW-190: 3 Driven off 2x Me-210: 1 Destroyed, 1 Driven off 1x Ju88: 1 Driven offClaims: Kills = 2, Probables = 2, Damaged = 0, Driven Off by Friendly Escort = 10Award/Promotion Requests:In Hospital: All present or accounted forAFTER ACTION REPORT:I adjusted the TFT Gazetteer to line up with the posted mission briefing for the 509th Play-by-Forum group, assisted by the historical S-2 report for the actual mission. The route is not the straight line shown in the TFT Gazetteer.TAKE OFF: The weather was good for our take off at 0820, and formation at 14,500 feet over Manduria was without incident or problems. Altocumulus cloud coverage approximately 10,000 feet was at about 50% and caused no disruption.Zone 2: Hazy conditions as we began our journey south, paralleling the eastern coast of Italy. We are joined by our escort – the Tuskegee Airmen of the 322nd FG. The assignment of the Red Tails to this mission is an exclamation point on the importance of knocking out this railroad hub in Eastern Greece. No German resistance.Zone 3: As we pass Bari the cloud coverage thickens.Zone 4: It is 6/10 cumulus below us and it is supposed to get worse. There is a new Navigator in the lead plane up ahead and I hope he knows his stuff. I know that the Major is up flying today in Old Ned, but as I believe he’s got a Navigator out of the Spare Pool I impress upon 2LT Frank that he needs to be extra sharp with his plots today.Zone 5: I know that the Adriatic is below that 10/10 cumulus. It is hard on the eyes looking at that sea of white below us, but the thought of a gruppe of German fighters popping out just 10,000 feet below us has the crew on their toes.Zone 6: Albania is covered by the sea of white, and I’m more concerned about our location now then about the Germans. What little action has occurred around the formation hasn’t gotten close to us yet.Zone 7: We are over Greece and the clouds are breaking up. After about 10 anxious minutes of searching we locate Lake Polyfytos and make our course correction. On the other hand the broken clouds also allow the Germans to find the formation. Two Bf-109s made it clear that they were coming after us, but the Red Tails got to them first.Zone 8: The boys are sure animated over the IP being Mount Olympus. We make the final turn for Larrisa and the skies get crowded all around the 509th. Maybe the Krauts were saving their fuel until they guessed where we were going. Two waves of Germans tried to claw their way towards the Prophet. The combat box drove off one before we could get a [...]

Session: Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game:: My first experience with GoK - a stream of thought and Runebound comparisons

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:44:53 +0000

by joestin I'm going to talk about this game. I'm 5 or 6 turns in and quite enjoying it. Only one rules issue so far and it was a small one that made sense once I realized a simple strike of the 'enter' key in the rulebook would have helped.But first, a shout out to the first time I got the happy gamer feels (I'm not a fan of that word, but it fits... so tough) with this game. This is of course besides looking at the art in person for the first time. That's a given.Reading through the rulebook was already a pleasurable experience. Not a thing about it is phoned in (read: no Arial font to be seen!). But when I flipped the page and saw the night phase rules in white text on black background...Update 7-10-17: Finished my first game as a human warrior (randomly drawn, but it was nice to have a simple chracterter for the first game). I lost to the Abscess of Penance on the last day. At first, I thought I had squeeked out a victory using my 3(!) unused fate tokens (forgot about them during most of the game), but then I took a second look at the ancient abilities and the quests left on the board and realized that I got smote hard.I'm sure I missed some things here and there, but for a first play (after one reset), I feel like I actually had most of the game right. It took me a bit to figure out how strangers worked and I'm still not sure I understand exactly when sneaking just helps you avoid an encounter vs. defeat it. Otherwise, though, the rules are pretty straightforward. I've read a few gripes here and there about odd organization and a few missing bits (is the word 'destroy' anywhere in the rules?), but I found the rules to be very clear as far as actually playing the game is concerned.And overall? I had a great time. I'd echo a lot of the positives put forth by others. The variability in the game ought to be fantastic given just how many combos of heroes, ancients, rewards, and encounters there are in the game. The ONLY thing I could see getting repetitive is the Night deck, but maybe that's a nice constant to have amongst the other random elements. There are a couple of thematic oddities that I'll have to get used to such as the delayed gratification of most rewards, but I really like how that system works so it's forgiven.I've set it up for another human/warrior run at the AofP with a different map so we'll see how round 2 goes.Update 2: Just had a very short 3-day game in which I drew a a few encounters that I had no chance of defeating and then lost to a relatively strong enemy that I just felt like I had to fight to get something going. Quick reset and we'll go again! Update 3: And another short game... heh. This time, an Hobgoblin just got a really lucky swing on me.I set up again and decided to play a little more conservatively. As luck (skill?) would have it, I actually completed the first 2 chapters of my sage within just the first 4 or 5 days. Figuring out that an asset satisfies the keyword requirement without having to give up the asset was a breakthrough... missed that early on. The game is still more rules than narrative at this point, but I'm already feeling that starting to shift. I might do some more comparisons later, but I'm already seeing ways that this is scratching my fantasy questing itch in ways that Runebound never could. Combat, for example, is way more streamlined while still feeling like more than just a dice roll. Staying in the fight almost always means you're risking taking that killing blow yourself which brings a good amount of tension to most battles.And I couldn't even dream of explaining the greatness of the reward system better than Chris did, but suffi[...]

Session: Israeli Air Force Leader:: 1991: Desert Storm (session) Review

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:34:15 +0000

by c08mk

IAFL is very specific that gameplay should not be described as one topic. The best would be to write about every campaign separately cause every campaign plays differently.

Desert Storm has good variety of planes to choose. For my campaign I picked all types of planes available for 1991: F-15, F-16, F-4, C.2 KFIR and A-4. A-4 are considered to be inferior in this campaign so they give SO bonus at the beginning.

On long 9 days campaign I was able to fly 16 missions. Not all were successful. Fortunately I did not lost any plane.

Long campaign gave me good insight for Desert Storm gameplay.
Fighting enemies in this campaign is similar to fighting against easy defences in HL:CAO.
Most sites I was able to avoid either on high or low altitude. Other sites were easy to avoid while they had narrow attack angle. Only centre sites posed some threat. In my game I had to use AGM-78 twice to counter most nasty centre sites, unfortunately one was miss which caused later problems in mission.
I chose F-15 for air to air combat and they did well. Desert Storm has AIM-120 as special weapon and this made AtA combat quite easy especially that all enemies have good bonus to hit (like +3 or +4). Not every air to air combat was piece of cake tho. There is limit of 10 AIM per day so with more bandits or bigger secondary missions there were also some dogfights in my campaign.

Targets are quite tough in IAFL but in 1991 planes are also quite good. Most of targets I was able to destroy in one mission (but they gave me hard time). 4 targets resisted. They were Invasion targets so they stayed in game with damage taken and they fell in second bombing.
In other campaigns keeping Invasion targets means every day penalty. Fortunately Desert Storm Invasion track can move only once and this saved me form Invasion penalties.

There were times in a game when I lost hope for win when air defences were tight or my planes was damaged but finally I was able to get Great result. This was somewhat surprise cause so far in all my IAFL plays I was able to get Good result once and all other results were always lower.

1991: Desert Storm is marked as Introductory campaign and from my experience I can agree with it. There is wide variety of aircraft and weapons to choose. Enemies are easy to avoid but they can give player hard time especially when they are underestimated. Targets are tough and they require good allocation of player resources, otherwise they will resist air strikes. Invasion track is not so hazardous so even if player won't destroy some targets there won't be lethal penalty. And on on top of it, Desert Storm campaign seems to be quite good balanced.

Session: Hostile Tactical AI:: Facebook CEO taken Hostage!

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:31:12 +0000

by sixthecat This is using a modified version of FNG: Second Tour and Chain Reaction 3.0. The miniatures are from Empress and Spectre Ops.Facebook's CEO was captured and taken hostage by the Bad Guy's Conglomerate (BGC).For setup, I placed Hostile shards around the map, where guards might be located. For each BGC unit I drew an AI card to identify by face/suit where to place that unit, then removed that shard.For Zuckerburg's location, I kept up the four Ace shards on the board. He would be in one of those locations, but the Navy SEALs would have to get there to see if he was there.The Ace locations also identified the objectives for the BGC to protect.Here's the setup. I use Pathfinder flip maps with inch wide squares to measure range, rather than using rulers.The Navy SEALs headed into the cauldron.Unaware of the enemy presence, each activated BGC unit would draw 1 card for a patrol order and follow the directions to go. In many cases drawing extra cards to point the direction and how many inches to travel.Tower guard on the left had an alert check, but there was no noise yet.The SEALs made it up the first tower with a rope. They took out the guard on the tower with silenced weapons.Some of the guards felt some suspicion and were ordered by the cards to head towards the tower.Shooting a silenced weapon and climbing caused two Noise (blue) markers. The random drawn Patrol order for the towerguard on the left was another Alert test!1d6 under the noise would cause the BGC to be Alerted. The next card drawn was two . Since the roll was onle 1d6, only the first die mattered. 1 is less than the 2 noise markers, so the guard was alerted to the SEALs presence.ALERT! The jig was up! The enemy now followed Attack orders, rather than patrol orders.Enemies flooded up the tower. Montana the standing SEAL helped Lott, whose gun jammed.While Lott and Montana dealt with the tower guards. Willis and Tyler headed north to the separate buildings that recon suggested could be the location of the hostage.One enemy drew a Hostile attack, so he charged Willis. Willis laid down fire and dropped him (the red blood marker).Rye the enemy leader was given a double order to retreat and to head toward objective, so he headed inside the little house to hide and guard one of the Ace shards.The northwest guard with the M60 moved out of the room he was guarding to help Rye.Willis stood his ground for the approaching M60 soldier. Tyler kicked down the door to the building Rye hid in. Rye got the upperhand and dropped Tyler. 1 SEAL down.So close, but the building had no windows, so Willis couldn't blast Rye.Lott finally unjammed his M16. Montana and Lott headed into the keep toward the other objectives (the Ace of Clubs shard).Chaos ensued as enemies came from both directions! Lott got hit by suppresive fire. Montana also got hit, though he dropped two others.Montana only had 1 hit point left, when his gun ran out of ammo. The enemy's gun jammed. The enemy drew a Hostile attack and charged!Melee ensued with Montana taking the upperhand.Willis on the otherside of the map took out the M60 enemy, who tried to take him down. He searched the building on the left, drawing a shard card, but the suit didn't match. Zuckerburg wasn't there!Willis then went into the building and killed Rye to avenge his follow comrade. Inside the bedroom he found the hostage.It was getting late and they needed to get out of there.But Montana still had a BGC officer to deal with! The officer continued to switch between retreating to the final objective or guarding the stairs. Bleeding bad, Montan[...]

Session: Target for Today:: The Badger II---Mission 9: When is a Kill not a Kill?

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:53:31 +0000

by tpholt Mission 8 and earlier: long layoff of 9 days for the 613th Squadron has allowed the Badger II to be fully repaired. In addition, the Squadron welcomes three new B17-F’s, fresh from the States: “the Duke”, “Thunder Bird” and “Sunday Girl” are all available for duty. In addition, the Badger has received a new Radio Operator, to replace the KIA Ira Leach. Welcome Sgt Victor Chambers, a 22 year old from Perkinsville, New York.During the downtime, it was announced by the 8th Air Force Command that Air Kills were being over-stated by the Bombers and their gunners. As such, a thorough review process was undertaken whereby corroborating evidence was now needed in order to claim a Kill. Almost all of the Badger’s gunners have seen their Kill totals reduced, some dramatically:Lt. George Nichols, Bombardier from Los Angeles, saw his Kill totals drop from 8.33 to 4.67Sgt. James Ivanova, Left Waist Gunner from Spivey’s Corner, NC goes from 2.83 to 0.67Sgt. Jack Irwin, Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner from Morgantown, KY, goes from 9.83 to 4.33Sgt. Neil Dixon, Right Waist Gunner from Templeton, CA drops from 3.67 to 2.00Lt. Kenneth Unger, Navigator from Cheektowaga, NY, drops from 4.33 to 2.00Sgt. Billy Ericson, Tail Gunner from Westbrook, ME went from 3.67 to 3.00Sgt. Ira Leach, Radio Op from Danville, IN who was recently KIA, had all 1.83 Kills wiped outSgt. Edward Weston, Ball Turret Gunner from Breezewood, PA, went from 11.67 to 7.33The Target for Today, October 9, 1942 will be the U-Boat pens at La Pallice, France. The Badger II has been assigned position of Bomber #2 in the Middle Cell. “The Big ‘1’” will be the mission Lead for this run. 2 of the 3 new Bombers will be along for the ride---the “Thunder Bird” and the “Sunday Girl”. Even though it’s now October and the weather, in general, is taking a turn for the worse, the weather today is Good. Take off for the entire squadron is completed without incident.Good Fighter cover awaits us on our outbound leg, and we see no opposition until Zone 3 over the Channel. Two Me109’s come in to see what’s up, but one is chased away by the Cover. The other, coming in from 9:00 Level is taken care of with severe damage to the right wing, and they do not see a parachute deployed. Ball Turret Gunner Weston, Top Turret Gunner Irwin and Left Waist Gunner Ivanova all claim the Kill. With the new rules from the 8th Air Force now in effect, official credit, if any, will not be awarded until after the mission.Still over the Channel in Zone 4, we are set upon by 3 Me110’s and a lone Me410. Two of the 110’s and the 410 are scattered away by the Fighter Cover, leaving just a lone 110 attacking from a Vertical Climb. Weston again makes short work of the right wing of the aircraft, and again claims a Kill when no Chute is seen.New Radio Op Chambers says there is chatter on the line about German Coms being garbled. Maybe we can avoid some confrontations.Now over France in Zone 6, we are attacked by a lone Me109. Maybe the Germans really are having communication issues. Once again the Badger Gunners tear up the wing of the aircraft and it looks to be going down. Irwin, Tail Gunner Ericson and Radio Op Chambers all claim credit. Ericson claims to have seen a Chute deployed this time, but the Review Board will have the final say.Getting closer to the target, Fighter Resistance by the Luftwaffe is starting to pick up. Heavy resistance is expected in Zone 7, [...]

Session: Forbidden Desert:: Helicoptering Over the Forbidden Island and the Across the Forbidden Desert (Report on Forbidden Island/Desert Combo Variant)

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 03:02:25 +0000

by adammal After downloading the very intruiging Forbidden Island & Forbidden Desert combination variant from this website (, decided to give it a try with the SO for a fun night.Forbidden Island PortionWe started, of course, as adventurers venturing into the Forbidden Island trying to grab the 4 treasures. I neglected to read the rules in close enough detail though and hadn't played in a while, so I ended up laying down a 5x5 grid and only realized that I was doing it wrong when there was a space missing. Decided to go with it though and our Engineer and Pilot were off...sort of. It was a cluster from the start. All of the flooded squares were right next the Pilot, with the Engineer constantly having to spend two actions just walking to get near a single flooded square. Add in some terrible flood cards and we lost pretty handily with 3 artifacts in hand due to Fools Landing submerging after the Pilot turn and Water's Rising during the subsequent Engineer's turn, with of course a Fools Landing re-draw.Forbidden Island - ReduxOf to a great start. We reset the map and used the Skull Island layout (Love this one!) and drew the Messenger and the Diver. Fairly standard game, with a quick retrieval of the four items and some timely Helicopter Lifts letting us win without difficulty. The key item here was well-spaced Waters Rise! cards, that let us cycle the Flood Deck two separate times.Forbidden Desert PortionHaving a successful round of Forbidden Island in our wake, we started the Forbidden Desert scenario with the modified rules. Here's where we hit our first snag - you are supposed to keep the same color of pawn as the Forbidden Island game, but this would have meant one of being the forecaster role, which we both hate. So we gave him a mid-life crisis and ended up with the Archaeologist joining the Climber. The second snag was that we uncovered the ship site very quickly (2nd turn) and had the artifacts (through dice roll) scattered within a few squares of the crash site, so we were able to skip the step of being forced to take the artifacts to the crash site. Not sure if we played it right, but we each just grabbed an artifact then and played as normal, but with God Mode on (since Sun Beats Down doesn't affect you with an artifact in hand, so you really only need to keep moving in order to avoid losing to the Storm tracker). Not sure if we were supposed to immediately take any artifact back to the ship site?At some point, we also flubbed the excavation rules, with us excavating tiles that were orthogonally adjacent to us - believe you can only do it on a tile that you're this point though, it was obviously going to be an easy win and both of us were getting hungry so we let it slide. We also had both been crushed by this game enough times that we were happy to crush it for once. We rolled out in our artifact-strewn, solar-powered ship with full canteens and almost no squares blocked!ConclusionsIn short - read the rules for both games and restrict players to having to shuttle the artifacts to the ship site (and not adventure with them) to really have a challenge. Otherwise, this is a nice variant of Forbidden Desert to play with young ones.... [...]

Session: Fleet Commander: Genesis:: First solo play first impressions

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 19:12:31 +0000

by WayCoolSuperDude

Hello all! Finally got to play my first solo game last night and it was great. I played a really basic game: 25 tile battlefield, 12 point, mirror fleets. 1BB, 1CR, 1DE, 3FR each side. No special tiles were used.
I started out playing the two fleets differently. Amycles started defensively, rolling 2 shield and 1 maneuver dice while Phoebe started more aggressively with 2 maneuver and 1 attack dice. In the end, the Phoeben fleet won.

General observations:
1. The game has a relatively small footprint, at least at the standard (5x5 grid) size. All the components are relatively small and can fit quite nicely on a card table.
2. Most of the ships stay on the pegs except for the Phoeben frigates. Those might need to get glued on.
3. Speaking of frigates- never count them out! During my end game, I had one Amyclean frigate left on the board (I know, Amycles already lost at that point, but I was having fun)at about half health. With two blue dice and 1 red each turn, he was able to take out a near max health destroyer and 2 frigates. Jump in, shoot, jump out. Repeat.
4. Game length was fairly short. Only took about 30-40 minutes start to finish. Maybe 5-10 minutes extra to set up initially.
5. Drones are your best friend or worst enemy. Drones would have been the MVP of the game if not for that last frigate. They almost single-handedly took out the Phoeben battleship.
6. Maneuvering is very important. I know, duh... Don't move into the center of the board early and expect to live long!
7. Supporting attacks are devastating. This goes along with 6. Maneuver your fleet to maximize supporting attacks.
8. Soloing this game is fairly easy since the dice determine actions. As the commander, you still determine overall strategy by selecting the dice to use but I found solo play to have a good balance. Even if I was rooting for one side or the other, if the dice are picked and used in even a semi-intelligent way, it's hard to give one side a true advantage.

Overall I am very happy with FC:G. I will not be able to get in anymore games until next week which makes me very sad. I am going to try special tiles and commanders next along with varying the fleet makeup.
I'd also love to hear others' perspectives on this game as well.

Session: World in Flames:: Game Report #28 : The Art of the Coup

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:24:03 +0000

by nailsworthnobby

Previously: really?

March / April 43

This report relays the last part of our previous gaming session in February. For those of you unfamiliar with our gaming “routine”, I should explain that we gather only two or three times a year since we are separated by significant distance and dogged with real life commitments. However, we make up for that by playing for three and a half days, which certainly does allow for better immersion in the forge of combat. This last report (for now) also suffers from last night weariness from our main contributors, Greg (Italy and Japan), Non-Swiss Andy (Germany) and Laurence (the CW). Which means I actually wrote the original notes. And very poor they were. Onward …

Political Affairs
Having moaned like a child about how unlucky he has been against Greg this session (his average naval search roll over the last three days has been approximately 8.75), this turn’s politics allows Simon to stick it to the Fascists good. France bids big and spends hard earned production points on another coup attempt against Rumania. Unlike the last attempt, this is a bit of a gamble as it could easily go wrong and give the Fascists a countercoup opportunity (which would put Rumania firmly back under their control) so this gives an idea of how desperate the Democrats have become. Of course, the very use of coups by so called Democrats speaks volumes.

However, all that pain in search rolls is repaid as again the roll hits the magic 8 and the subsequent three dice coup roll delivers 25 influence points. Are you seeing a common “Simon always rolls 8” thing going on here? Unsurprisingly France activates Rumania and it swiftly tracks across the influence chart to France’s faction. The German troops return to their sun loungers in Bulgaria and 3 oil resources are very definitely no longer available to Italy and Germany. Do I hear the rustle of invasion plans being pulled out of a filing cabinet in Berlin?

The CW are up next and attempt to incite resistance in China but fail. Germany is next and through gritted teeth Andy buys a coup cell and won’t say where; there is much jeering in the room. Bids points for Russia; Japan shows the CW how to do it and quells resistance in China by 3; the USA aligns Brazil and Italy takes bid points on the way to the beer fridge.

Military Affairs
Sunday morning rises in the real world and we play some more. The only note I have is “CW fleet sinks”. No news there, then. I seem to recall that the Japanese are one impulse from conquering South Africa, due to a CW misunderstanding about where the capital is – at which point the term Commonwealth will be more accurately rendered as “bunch of blokes from the local boozer”.

Battle will be re-joined next Thursday morning. Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more…

Session: Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game:: I thought I was screwed.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 18:16:01 +0000

by pawjack

Mastermind: Authoritarian Iron Man
Scheme: Transform Citizens into Demons

Superhuman Registration Act
Hellfire Cult

Black Bolt
Captain Marvel
Symbiote Spider-Man

Just a random setup I did. I honestly didn't think it would be that tough looking at the villains, but at first glance I thought I was completely screwed with the heroes. No one synergized with Black Bolt, Polaris' piercing energy wasn't going to help much, nobody had cheap cards to combo with spidey, I've had terrible luck with kingpin before, and only Captain Marvel is someone I've used to strong effect before.

Then I started playing. Sure enough, I fell behind early and had trouble keeping up. However, two copies of Polaris' PE cards burned through four henchmen in one turn and KO'd four starters for one deck. That gave me time to get the other deck rolling with Kingpin cards. I got real lucky with what showed up, and was suddenly gaining New Recruits like crazy. And that's when I finally realized that Recruits combo off with Spidey like a dream. I was generating so much attack, I could damn near clear the stack next to scheme every time. Meanwhile deck two had trouble going off because of those dead PE cards, but they were still boosting my card draw and generating recruit through Captain Marvel's cards. This gave me enough recruit to grab three rares, including Marvel, Polaris, and Kingpin. The latter was just because I knew the other deck couldn't generate that kind of recruit. And then because the deck was small and had so much card draw, it started producing a ton of attack out of nowhere. Iron Man basically went down in a few turns once I went after him. Villain deck still had over a dozen cards left. I was stunned.

Damned if this just wasn't a perfect example of why I love this game. Pulling together a group of random heroes and somehow making it work.

Black Bolt was still pretty much useless though. I had a few copies of his common that did two attack and that was it.

Session: Eat Poop You Cat:: Chit Chat Big Chain 2017

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:00:41 +0000

by tickmanfan Jim was not happy with his newly discovered superpowers.Sentence by tickmanfanPicture by Picture by wysireWhen all his efforts go horribly wrong, J-Man gives up the Superhero business.Sentence by Drew1365Picture by sunkencheerioJustice Man knew in his heart that he wasn't cut out to be a superhero, but that morning's epic fail was the last straw- he turned in his cape immediately.Sentence by snapdragon23Picture by JoshBotIn J. K. Rowling's latest, an overweight Neville Longbottom tearfully strips after his failed attempt to protect the Statute of Liberty from an air commando attack.Sentence by EgorjLileliPicture by OzludoIn the original script the movie Easy Rider was actually about Easy Company, and Jack Nicholson's character was on a mission to "give them dirty hippies wut they got comin'."Sentence by Gee WhizPicture by JpwooA crazed American motorcyclist with a broken fourth finger shook the eyes off of a large potato.Sentence by MABBYPicture by AneirinA hopping familiar tale of liberty, magic and airborne heroism flashes back to origins of naked sadness and elegant depravity.Sentence by shumyumPicture by WallyNateWhen riding your motorcycle through in the West, keep your eyes out in every direction.Sentence by LennySPicture by ColdFrogWazowski's ugly cousin rode his chopper through the desert, terrorizing any feathered foes that dared to cross his path.Sentence by Dutch BoyPicture by wmshubMad Max was looking for food in the dessert, but all he found were two ducks in the middle of the road.Sentence by futheePicture by CallieMoMax was angry that the ducks got to the Australian Fast Food Sanctuary first, because he wasn't in the mood for dessert.Sentence by ejmowrerPicture by mahoThe ducks are coming for the food! Guard the deserts with your life!Sentence by cold_fuzionPicture by Reish Galuta"Flock to a hearty meal before your life is filled with just dessert."Sentence by leemc13Picture by BaSLShamblin' Herbert - turns his back on the sherbert, - he deserts the desserts - for a chock-a-block crock pot.Sentence by MuzzaPicture by KodeirPhil was excited to finally have some vegetables after all the ice cream and junk food.Sentence by UanarchyKPicture by malomaBrock Carrot and Cary Broccoli rejoiced in victory whilst Tanya Ice Cream and Iselda Taco fumed after Mr. Fathead enthusiastically endorsed the Health Food Party with a gigantic thumbs up!Sentence by wysirePicture by snapdragon23Ike was willing to moderate a discussion, but it was obvious that the salubrious leads to happiness, while junk causes scowling.Sentence by JoshBotPicture by EgorjLileliDwight Eisenhower's latest editorial was about how happy exercising makes him mixed with angry rantings about donuts making his eyebrows grow.Sentence by sunkencheerioPicture by Dutch BoyAs he prepared to read the traffic report, Rupert recalled a classic headline from days past: "Zombie Eigenharpist Plays Bewitching Boogie."Sentence by OzludoPicture by MABBYTraffic and weather, traffic and weather, why can't I cover the real story here? Ebola harps!Sentence by JpwooPicture by shumyumRon Burgundy reports on the talented zombie bassoonist who plays at the Saturday night disco frequented by students from Hogwarts.Sentence by AneirinPicture by Gee WhizThe newsman reported on the the barefoot bassoonist genius playing some funky disco jams as young witches looked on and cheered.Sentence by WallyNatePicture by futheeNo [...]

Session: Betrayal at House on the Hill:: Super long play times? (5p Haunt 32, 6p Haunt 3)

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:00:12 +0000

by ktwo

My group played Betrayal for the first 2 times recently, and I was shocked that each game ran for about 2.5 hours (a far cry from the box's advertised 1 hour). Is this the normal experience?

Game 1: 5 players (3 first-timers), Haunt 32.
Despite having first-timers, I really don't think we were taking particularly slow turns. The haunt started upon our 7th omen. That seemed normal enough to me (EV of a haunt roll being 6).
[o]Haunt 32 is Lost. The haunt requires re-exploration of the house, and because it's poison and not combat driving down stats, it felt slow/grindy. Maybe that's why it took so long?[/o]

Game 2: 6 players (2 first-timers), Haunt 3.
The first-timers are avid board gamers, so again I don't feel like anybody's turns was particularly slow. The haunt started upon our 7th omen again.
[o]Haunt 3 is Frog-Leg Stew. Explorers being turned into frogs, turned back into humans, etc, felt slow. Also Mystic Elevator seemed to really slow things down (particularly when the explorer with the Book/mandrake got turned to frog in the Mystic Elevator, dropping them there). Additionally there were hits like Lights Out for one explorer, followed by his would-be rescuer getting Tower and then Attic (dead end instead of being able to reach him). In general kind of a feel-bad haunt for the disabled/slowed players.[/o]

Please tell me this was just bad luck and that most haunts run faster! I like the game well enough, but in a 3 hour window I feel like we should be able to play at least 2 haunts, not just 1.

Session: Rise and Decline of the Third Reich:: To Bremen or Not to Bremen…that is the Question: Turn 16 – 1941 Summer Allies

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:57:05 +0000

by OU_Sooner Initial ThoughtsThe Germans have made more progress into Great Britain and have units NW and west of London. The German airborne also dropped directly east of London. One of the stacks of British units (a 4-5 tank and 3-4 infantry) are out of supply two hexes west of London. It’s time to attack and try to get them back into supply. Additionally, there are still Italian air that have not flown this turn and they can fly DAS. The question will be where. If GB does not attack now then London will fall for sure next turn and there won’t be any way to take back London on my turn. I must attack now and hope for the best. Additionally, a very difficult question is the Italian air. Since I don’t know where they will fly I have to have multiple options available. That guy on Gibraltar needs to come join the fight. There reaches a time when protecting Gibraltar is not as important as trying to protect your capital. That time has come. Losing Gibraltar is better than losing GB. If I can buy even an extra turn, then it would be worth it since, if I lose London, the guy on Gibraltar dies anyway. So, I’m going to bring him into the fight. I don’t know if the Germans/Italians will try to stop me with their fleets.The opening in Romania is still there. Whether that opening will be there next turn or not, though, depends on what Paul does on his turn. I’m going to try to get Russia into position by the end of this turn in order to exploit that opening if it is still there on my next turn.StartDoW: none.Option Selections: GB: west offensive (15 BRPs) down to 44; attrition in med and eastRussia: pass west. Attrition in med and eastvoluntary destruction of units. none MovementMovement of fleets: Yes. GB moves her 9 and 6 factor fleets from Portsmouth to Gibraltar. The Italian navy and air stay home and do not attempt to intercept the British fleet movement to Gibraltar.The Russians continue trying to rearrange their 2nd line of defense far back from the first line. I setup the Russian tanks in position so that I will have a chance to attack Romania next turn if possible and exploit.The entire board looks like this after movement:GB looks like this:*Note: The stack on London has a 3-4 infantry, a 2-5 tank, and a 4-5 tank. The Germans directly west of London are two 4-6 tanks. NW of London are two 3-3 German infantry. MissionsAll the fleets on Gibraltar will sea transport the infantry from Gibraltar to Portsmouth. The Axis fleets do not attempt to stop the British fleets. I’ve noticed that Paul is avoiding getting into a sea battle with GB. I can understand that. Seeing the inevitable defeat of GB on the horizon it would be nice for the Axis if they can defeat GB and not get into a sea battle. If GB falls then the British fleets disappear. Better to have them disappear without losing any axis fleets if possible. Maybe that’s why he is not trying to intercept me even though he has superior odds if there was a fleet battle.The Axis fly 5 DAS on the airborne. So, he is going to defend it heavily. He will be 3 (doubled to 6) + 5 DAS for 11 defense on that hex.Permanent Death or Not Permanent Death of the Airborne…that is the QuestionI guess now is as good a time as any to discuss the German airborne situation. As you will recall, on the German player’s last turn he designated an 8 [...]

Session: Letters from Whitechapel:: Letters from Japan Game 09: Roundabout

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:15:36 +0000

by n107 Back in Japan, my brother in law was falling in love with the game. While I was out of the country, he played it with my wife at least five times. They were waiting for me to return so we could play again. As we got ready, I realized that even though they had played the game so much, they were making rule mistakes every time. So after re-explaining the correct way to play, it was time to start. The brother-sister duo of Bro and The Missus wished to go against me as Jack. I definitely didn't want to lose against him twice in a row. Dramatis PersonaeJack the Ripper - (me)Investigators Edmund Reid - (The Missus)Sir Charles Warren - (The Missus)George Lusk - (Bro)Donald Swanson - (Bro)Frederich Abberline - (Bro)Hideout: Location 70Night One: HellHead of the Investigation: BroA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 127Time of the Crime: Space IIIThe random number generator chose 70, one higher than the previous game I played against Bro. I was hoping that was as far as the similarities went. I waited a couple times for this game because I wanted to try a new strategy to try to confuse my hunters. Night One: HuntingThe plan here was to kill close to my hideout but take a roundabout route away from my home before backtracking. So that's exactly what I did. I started by walking to Location 156 then 171, heading south--away from where I wanted to be by the end of the night.The Police, obviously, headed towards the scene of the crime. I made my way to Location 159 about when they discovered my Clue at 156 and believed me heading south. As the police rounded about to find Clues at 171 and 159, I took a Coach back across my tracks through Locations 171 and 156 again. Now the coppers had spotted my trail at 171 and 159 but by that point I was already back at where it all started: Location 127 followed immediately by Location 69, thanks to my second Coach. The lawful duo of Bro and The Missus were now sure I was heading east on the map though they did not know which way my trail branched after Location 159. Before they had a chance to find another Clue, I rounded the corner to my hideout at Location 70 and put an end to the hunt of Night One. Night Two: HellHead of the Investigation: BroA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 163Time of the Crime: Space IIOnce more, I thought I would try the same strategy as the first night and backtrack my footsteps. It worked once, could it work again? The Police still did not know the correct area of my hideout so I felt I had a bit of breathing room. Night Two: HuntingI tried to make a straight run down Whitechapel Road towards my hideout but as I went from Locations 139 to 151, the Police had closed in on the area and were soon to find a Clue. I bounced around back to Locations 139, 164, 138 and 139 yet again, walking all the while. I wanted the police to think that I was casual and confident, walking safely away from them when in reality they were all over me and most of my movement was simply because I couldn't walk past them. I also did not want to stray too far from the few locations I had already been on because the lack of Clues branching out was really starting to confuse them. I got to Location 118 when they finally opened enough of a path that I felt safe to run.So next I took a Coach through Locations 120 and 99. Unfortunately for me, the[...]

Session: Gloomhaven:: Chapter 11 - Scenario #26 (Spoilers)

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:55:13 +0000

by sevitrm Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.Chapter 11 - Ancient Cistern (#26)Upon reaching the surface Vecna left the group and Aceline and Jerome led the group back to the city guard building to report in with Garion. Keeping him up to date she told him they would return after a good night’s sleep and explore deeper into the sewers.Rounding the corner to the back entrance of the Sleeping Lion a shadowy figure came running at her with his arms full and yelling from the kitchen caused her to quickly act. Tripping the man, he fell and vegetables and meats went flying from his arms. A petty thief trying to steal from the inn. Looking down at him while calling for the city watch she said to him, “The Sleeping Lion is going to be undergoing some changes. If you need a job come and see me, but till then get the hell out.”The next morning the group proceeded back to the waters. Wading in and starting to swim they cannot see anything in but before too long they spot a light in the distance. It takes all their effort, but eventually the light grows bigger and the three emerge from a pool of fetid water, grateful they can breathe freely once again. The relief, however, is short-lived. The room is occupied with two menacing green masses of ooze and a single undead corpse. Pulling themselves out onto dry land they ready their weapons for another battle.Vecna fired a quick immobilizing shot at the corpse as Aceline moved forward quickly and with two deft strikes cut it to pieces. Her dog followed and engaged the last ooze. The corpse flailed around as the ooze burned Aceline with a glancing blow. Aceline quickly dispatched the last ooze as her dog ran and bit the corpse, shaking the chunk of dead flesh from its mouth. Ice magic from Vecna dealt the copse a stunning blow as she then moved away and looted the ooze. Aceline moved through the doorway as her dog finished off the corpse and followed.As she entered the room a night demon sprang from the shadows and she hit it with a glancing blow while summoning her skeleton minion. Two ooze at the far side jiggled and shook but did not approach. The night demon crushed the skeleton with a single blow of its claws. Vecna ran into the room, jumped over a nearby boulder and shot the demon as Aceline moved around it and struck the killing blow. The ooze spat acid toward them but it fell short sizzling into the rock in front of them. Aceline turned invisible as her dog attacked the larger of the two ooze. Vecna also attacked and stunned the larger ooze. The larger ooze shook off the stunning blow while the other sprayed acid onto Vecna and the dog causing minor burns and poisoned them both. Vecna feinted an attack while circling around the nearby boulders. The ooze attacked the dog while it struck back and Aceline rested. She then sprinted past Vecna and killed the smaller ooze while her dog finished off the other. Taking a rest, Vecna also healed the dog with a potion. Aceline moved forward into the next room while Vecna looted the chest and surrounding coin.Entering the final room Aceline was confronted with four water pipes standing vertically in the back of the room, clear conduits for the pumping of the city’s water. Attached to the pipes, however, are writhing black masses, poisoning the water running through. As she en[...]

Session: Star Wars: Imperial Assault:: Well, rebels just broke the chain of command.

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 10:13:02 +0000

by Rhalius Well, I am not sure how much it counts as a session report when playing against yourself to get familiar with the game, but still I like to talk about it. I just finished the chain of command mission, so spoilers for those who did not do that one yet. Rebels won. Weiss was not able to get to his AT-ST even. Diala was constantly on him like a bloodhound. Due to Gideon's help, Diala and Jyn where at the locked door at turn two with Jyn still having her full turn. She opened it successfully in the first try so got a shot at Weiss, dealing some damage. Weiss managed to get out and moved to a cluster of troops to a position where he could get into his AT-ST the next turn. I moved one royal guard to protect him and another to stun Gideon to keep him from giving commands since he was out of range. While he was stunned and had to waste an action to get rid of that, with strain he could still barely get Diala in his line of sight though, he has the ability that lets him use command that far. So she got to go after Weiss and had an attack. Jyn and Diala where wounded by the many troops there, but Fenn was able to move in and while he could not target Weiss since stormtroopers where in the way, he managed to deal some blast damage and stunned Weiss since he has suppressive fire. He was down to one hitpoint. At least I managed to heal him quite a bit with the restorative supplies agenda card at the end of the round, but in round 4 there just was no escaping for him since he was stunned. He'd need an action to get in his AT-ST so that wasn't going to happen. Oddly enough Diala only barely got him with way of the sarlacc. Due to being focused since an earlier attack against her missed since she has that ability card, she got some good damage against him, putting him at one hotpoint again despite the royal guard adding to his defense and his own bonus defense. But against the other eight troops around her, she only rolled a surge once to defeat Weiss with a cleave attack. I guess it might not have been the smartest move to keep deploying troops so close to Weiss seeing how Diala has cleave and way of the sarlacc and Fenn has his blast damage. But I have seriously no idea how the imperials could have defended against that. I used a standard E-web engineer and elite ISB Infiltrators for the two open groups and they did perform well, I only have the base game, bespin gambit, the infiltrators and Bossk so there where not much options. Did not have Bossk available though since I started the campaign before getting him. No Darth Vader either since rebels won that mission. Rebels lost two missions so far, one where they had to get a prisoner out (he was shot right before he got to safety, from a far distance.) And the other one was an optional mission where rebels had to upload a virus and get tokens for credits. They still got 6 tokens before everyone was wounded and two had retreated. Must say that I tend to root a little more for the rebels, but especially in later missions I am truly trying to do all I can for an imperial victory but I feel that the imperial side is harder to play to full effect. I am not quite sure yet about how useful many agenda cards might be. Also Diala and Gideon are pretty much unstoppable together. Jyn and Fenn really carr[...]

Session: Fire in the Sky: The Great Pacific War 1941-1945:: Hey, where did all those carriers go?

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:16:23 +0000

by Orcoteuthis

Played the full Campaign Scenario today, commanding the Allies v. Sebastian's Japanese. We used no optional rules except the one about putting oomph in your hits. I took no notes, so what follows is somewhat hazy and possibly not 100% accurate.

The Japanese opened fairly conventionally, raiding Pearl Harbour - where they destroyed all the air steps, sunk a destroyer, and damaged three BB's - and invading Manila, Singapore, Brunei, Lae, Rabaul, and Bangkok. All invasions went more or less fine, excapt Lae, where the invaders were turned back by the Australian CL. Also, PoW/Repulse were merely damaged, not sunk.

The Australians took the opportunity to seize Lae, while the Americans reinforced Port Moresby, Guadalcanal and Espiritu Santo. Further west, Singapore, Manila and Surabaya fell on turn two, followed by Rangoon on turn three.

The war then turned into something of a stalemate. The British counterattacked Rangoon with the Indian Army coming overland supported by every available ship of the Royal Navy, but despite repeated attempts could only flip, not eliminate the Japanese army there. This went on for several turns, forcing the Japanese to spend transport points to flip back their army, but otherwise achieving nothing but the PoW/Repulse being damaged again, this time by a Japanese submarine.

Back in the Pacific, the second Japanese invasion of New Guinea forced the Australians to withdraw to Port Moresby. Reinforced by Americans and supported by battleships allowed through by a temporary gap in the Japanese Air ZOC perimeter they made an attempt to take Lae back, but were forced back again. The subsequent Japanese overland attack on Port Moresby was equally unsuccessful.

Further east yet, the Japanese invaded Guadalcanal (turn 2 or 3) but could not dislodge the defenders. Simultaneously, the American invasion was more successful, eventually destroying the defenders, but only after several turns of fighting and repeated naval battles off the islands. On turn six, following the end of the Guadalcanal campaign, the Americans invaded Rabaul to ease the pressure on New Guinea.

The naval battles surrounding these islands were very hard on both sides' carriers, with a remarkable number being hit and almost all those hit being sunk. By turn seven, neither side had any operational - the Japanese losing their last in a failed attempt to support the invasion of Port Moresby -, and the Japanese, seeing several reinforcement due for the Americans while they wouldn't be able to put one in play until turn 10, conceded.

This concession was perhaps premature - the Japanese had a strong perimeter of land based air protecting their territory and the oil was flowing in freely - but things were undoubtedly not looking too bright for them.

The heavy carrier attrition meant that battleships saw more use than usual in FitS. No big Jutland style surface battles, but the allies in particular carried out some truly massive shore bombardments.

Session: Solstice: Fall of Empire:: Solstice: Impressions, Deceptions, and Cautions

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 02:27:27 +0000

by Rugmouse I was finally able to get the ‘right’ group of friends together for some games of Solstice. I was actually quite nervous about teaching this one, as the core gameplay mechanics are only a small piece of the greater landscape. I also knew that the players would have to buy into approaching this game quite differently from your standard fare, or they’d have a real hard time with it. I’m pleased to report that the games went over very well in each of my sessions, and we’ve had a blast trying to seize control of the Empire…but I can see it going the opposite way for many groups.I'm not one to fully explain the turn-by-turn mechanics of a game, there are rulebooks for that, and I am going to write this piece assuming you at least have an idea on how the game works. What I will shed light on is the feel of the experience (spoken like a true Millenial, I know).The drafting of the cards is the focal point of the round, where you make decisions on what information you will try and flesh out in the dispatch phase. If you try to keep track of everything, you’ll spread yourself too thin and wind up knowing less, or you’ll be so paralyzed you won’t even know how to play a card.There are several Event cards that can shape how an entire planet will play out, provided you read the situation properly and don't tip your opponents off with your intentions. You could choose to sit back and let things unfold in the dispatch phase and apply a last minute event to benefit yourself, or hinder another. You could throw the proverbial wrench into your enemy's plan by revealing a card on the planet that completely exposes their agenda. Or you could simply manipulate the initiative system so your opponents waste their powerful cards.Each player's faction cards can also significantly impact any plans you, or your opponents, might be crafting. Say you see your opponents both playing cards to the same planet. You, however, hold one of their faction’s Legion card, which grant a sizable amount of favor and/or strength (often times the strongest or the player with the most favor will score victory points). All of a sudden, you can have the final say on who benefits from this back and forth. It’s all about the big picture, posturing engagements even by helping an opponent to advance your own agenda elsewhere.So many games these days are about calculating the best move to score the most amount of points, given a certain board state. That is here as well, but there is always a shadow of doubt in the back of your mind, with every move you make. You THINK you know what is happening on a particular planet (through the cards you drafted, disclosed information, and how your friends dispatch their cards), but what if you're wrong? The game develops a real sense of tension as all the factions vie for control - through manipulation, brute force, and deception - culminating in the reveal of the dispatched units and events on the planets.This is the part that I think won't speak to everyone - you will never have ALL the information, and the information you do get should be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of people really like to find that perfect move for each situation, but informat[...]

Session: Adrenaline:: The T.H.O.R. Sessions

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:24:57 +0000

by argentetbury I've played Adrenaline numerous times and am aware that player count and the arena configuration have an effect on the potency of some of the weapons, but in my gaming group we find T.H.O.R. to be one of the most effective, if not slightly overpowered, weapons.For those who don't know, here are the stats:T.H.O.R.basic effect: Deal 2 damage to 1 target you can see. With chain reaction: Deal 1 damage to a second target that your first target can see. (pay 1 blue ammo)With high voltage: Deal 2 damage to a third target that your second target can see. You cannot use this effect unless you first use the chain reaction. (pay 1 blue ammo)Notes: This card constrains the order in which you can use its effects. (Most cards don't.) Also note that each target must be a different player.A girl in our group managed to get hold of it one game and didn't bother to pick up any other weapon. She would either be firing it or attempting to collect ammo to enable to fire it off to its full capacity. She eventually won (although there was talk of a mis-count that was never proven), and in the next two games she did the same and came a close 2nd both times.In my latest game (last night) I purposely put T.H.O.R. to the bottom of the weapons pile so it was very unlikely to appear (the aforementioned girl was on a different table playing something else anyway), and my brother won, on his first time playing Adrenaline, with a potent Rail Gun and Power Glove combo.So, about T.H.O.R.: It's fairly obvious that it can do most damage in higher player count games - all of our games have featured 4-5 players. And the fact that the chain reaction is activated by the next player the target could see (rather than the shooter themselves) means it can achieve some devastating coverage even if she can only see one target. She didn't often need to waste actions moving around much as long as she could see one target, which leaves another action to collect ammo to reload.The key thing I've found with it is the spread of damage it can achieve (2,1,2) to three different targets meant that she was always in the mix when the scores were dished out after only discharging her weapon once in a 4-player game and twice with 5-players.She probably made the mistake of not taking another low-cost weapon that could have helped dish out damage when the T.H.O.R. was out of ammo, but another weapon may have taken her focus off picking up ammo for T.H.O.R.I know there are other weapons that allow damage to multiple targets, but they either only cause one damage (such as Furnace or Shockwave) or others that require tighter situational positioning (such as Flamethrower and Vortex Cannon).I'm glad she was unable to win on the second and third occasions using such a limited tactic, and whilst really liking T.H.O.R. thematically (sending out a chain reaction electric shock) I may purposely keep it to the bottom of the deck, or maybe house rule that it can only do a maximum of 1 damage to the third target.Anyway, Adrenaline is right up there as one of my favourite games and it goes down really well at my games group with players of all ages and abilities. [...]

Session: Letters from Whitechapel:: Letters from Japan Game 08: He's a Little Heavy

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:16:37 +0000

by n107 As I'm sitting on a backlog of sessions to write up, this one comes many months after the fact. This time I was visiting my family back in the States for the holidays. I wanted to get my sister's husband a copy of Scotland Yard, as it's one of his favorite games but I couldn't find one in time. However, I thought LfW would make an excellent substitution so I got him a copy. After teaching him and my sister how to play, we were off on our first session together. Dramatis PersonaeJack the Ripper - (me)Investigators Frederich Abberline - (Sis)George Lusk - (Sis)Sir Charles Warren - (Bruv)Donald Swanson - (Bruv)Edmund Reid - (Bruv)Hideout: Location 42Night One: HellHead of the Investigation: The MissusA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 137Time of the Crime: Space IIII wanted to wait a long time because I wanted to take a long route home for their first game. I wanted there to be plenty of opportunity for the new players to find clues while still not making it too easy for them. Night One: HuntingI decided that I would walk for the time being to give the police time to get the hang of the rules without being too confused with where I was. I moved to Location 136, 164 then 175 as the Investigators rushed to the scene of the crime. They made some bad decisions about which direction I took so I continued walking to Locations 190 and 191. When the police found the first clue at 136, they started to spread south since north didn't pan out. I made one more walk to Location 181 as they started to find the exact trail I had taken. While they found clues in my first few steps, I decided it was time to make use of the Coaches. I rode the Coach through 182 to 185 and again through 173 and 129. Now the police were following my direct trail so I added some Alleys to throw them off. I took one to Location 70 and again to 57. By now they found my path from start to Location 191 but couldn't decide where I went from there. Unfortunately for them, it was too late as I walked into my home at Location 42. I thought I gave them enough of a hing about the direction of my home with my running away on the Coaches. True, I could have been trying to confuse them with all the special movement, but I wanted to make it a little more straight-forward for their first attempt at this game. I couldn't just hand them a win, but I didn't need to apply what I've learned in my first half-dozen games to people with no experience.Night Two: HellHead of the Investigation: BruvA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 157Time of the Crime: Space IIThis time I only waited once before making the kill. I know Bruv has experience with Scotland Yard so maybe he would start using what he knows to figure out where my hideout might be. I made my kill in the direction I ran towards in the first night and past where their last Clue was, thinking it would let them know that's the area my hideout was in.Night Two: Hunting I started off walking to Location 156 and 142 while the Investigators circled around where they last spotted me on the first night. I then used a coach through Locations 102 and 56 but the police still went in circles around Location 191, where t[...]

Session: Advanced Squad Leader:: Drive to the Volga, 9/15, part 2, and 9/16, part 1

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 11:00:18 +0000

by boylermaker Well, I’m afraid I have some catching up to do. Since my last report, life got pretty busy for the two of us. We’ve been plugging away OK at our campaign, but my AARs have been lagging behind. So I’m going to whiz through the 15th and 16th to get us caught up.Both days were fairly similar: the Russians followed the historical strategy of hugging the German lines, and this kept me from making a lot of forward progress; it did, however, let me chew up the Russian forces pretty good. By the 16th in particular, I was able to put 4 machine-gun nests on the board, each with 24+ FP and a -2 or -3 leader. Once these stacks were fully armed and operational, the Russian forces nearby mostly withered, and this allowed steady, but not spectacular, German progress all along the line.Rather than go into any great depth, I think I’ll just show the map, with the perimeter lines at the beginning of the 15th and at the end of the daytime scenario of the 16th.As you can see, my perimeter had started on the 15th as a nearly straight north-south line, and since then it has bent into a C shape. The bends at either flank were the sites of the toughest fighting, so I shall talk about each briefly.In the north, my advance went as planned on the 15th, advancing to the western edge of 9th January Square, and cutting off the Milchhaus, forcing its evacuation in the night. The following day, I covering the Pavlov’s-House-to-Flour-Mill area with ordnance and OBA smoke, letting the engineers get in close and blast away. By the end of the day on the 16th, the whole area north of Solechnaya was in German hands. If I can hold this area overnight, it will form an excellent staging ground for an advance south against the NKVD house; or this area can be bypassed altogether with a southeastern advance toward the ferry landings.In the south, I made good progress on my extreme right flank. The Russians put up less of a fight here than I was expecting: on both days, my brother’s strategy was to put a reserve company as close as possible to the front lines. Between me and the reserves was a delaying force, which put up just enough of a resistance that by the time I was up to his reserves, I didn’t have enough time to regroup for an attack on them before the scenario ended. So the damage was limited, but I still seized three blocks with little in the way of casualties. Any further advance east, however, required the Univermag block to be seized, and this turned out to be a different story.The Univermag was a more persistent obstacle—so bristling with what looked like scary (albeit concealed) units that I ignored it altogether on the 15th, and I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to take it on the 16th or not. However, the first few turns of the 16th went so well that I was able to turn nearly all of my forces on the right to this task. Two machine-gun death stars, a howitzer battery, close assault gun support, and increasingly reckless waves of infantry eventually managed to secure a foothold here, although at considerable cost in landsers. The whole block is now inside my perimeter, and although the Russians stil[...]

Session: Monopoly Gamer:: Failing at parenting

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:54:50 +0000

by ed95005

We start off playing by the rules.

Everyone was forced to drop a ton of coins on Go on the first turn due to various effects triggering, so my kids are excited about racing back to Go to pick up the coins. My six-year is way ahead and my four-year old is upset and trying to move his piece where he wants it.

Rounding the last turn, my six-year old goes to Jail. Now he's upset and stomps away from the table. That puts my four-year old and myself neck and neck to reach Go first. I land on a green pipe, which means I should zoom past Go and get all of the coins. My wife and I look at each other and she moves my piece back one square, saying, "Oops, we counted wrong."

My four-year passes Go and gets all the coins. He should fight the Boss first but we ask him to let my six-year old, still steaming, fight the Boss first to make him feel better. My four-year old obliges. My six-year old can't roll three or higher to save his life, so we let him take repeated rerolls until he gets it.

Now my four-year old wants to fight a Boss, too. There's only supposed to be one Boss card when a player passes Go but we flip another one and let him keep rolling until he gets it.

We let everyone take one more turn, we add up the points, and we're done.

I don't know if I'm supposed to strictly enforce the game rules on my children. It's supposed to be fun, and enforcing the rules would make them upset. My wife says it's fine, she's happy the boys stuck with it until the end even though it was hard.

Session: Gloomhaven:: Chapter 10 - Scenario #23 (Spoilers)

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:30:04 +0000

by sevitrm Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.Part II: The Adventures of Aceline & VecnaChapter 10 – Deep Ruins (#23)Aceline walked through town towards the records building to meet with Dominic Skrim. Her plan was that while having him record the adventures of the Sleeping Lion Mercenaries to gather information about the history of Gloomhaven and who the influential players in the city are.After meeting with him she checked in with her other contacts to see if anything new was going on. During this time Tazukr introduced her to a Vermling Mind Thief, named Vecna, who was looking for work. They met in the previously cleared out sewer area and decided to start working together.The next day was the bonding ritual at the Sanctuary of the GReat Oak. She met Hawk, the gypsy ranger, who was accompanied by another Vermling sitting on top of a giant bear. Hawk introduced Dub, a beast tyrant, who would also be helping in the ceremony. As the moon rose Lickitysplit and Aceline moved into the stone circle near the great oak and completed the ceremony.Planning on getting back to the sewers in a few days she headed back to unwind at the Sleeping Lion. As she started to relax, a bear of a man crashed into her table, scattering drink and food across the floor. Hovering nearby a massive Inox. “What did you say about my horns?”, the Inox shouted. The man stood up and brushed shards of glass from his tunic. “I said the sight of them makes me want to vomit.” The Inox roared and charged, crashing through more tables in the process. At this, the entire tavern erupted into violence. After all, when a man is deep into his drink, the last thing you want to do is knock it over. Really, not again, she thought, standing up and moving to break up the fighting. After talking down the enraged Inox and offering to replace drinks for a few of the more belligerent patrons, she managed to calm the place down a bit. Some of the non-human patrons were understandably on edge and she told them she was hoping to make some changes.Meeting with Vecna at the entrance to the sewers they continued the search for the source poisoning the wells. Having established a small base of operations at the well they leave Jerome and a few others behind and head into the dark passages beneath the sewers. Ruined brickwork eventually gives way to passages made of intricate stone in a state of extreme disrepair. They see an unrecognizable runic language etched into the walls. It would be hard to read even if they knew the language because of all the fractures and missing chunks of stone. Following the passage, they eventually made their way to a larger room full of ruined machinery they could not begin to understand. A door is on the opposite wall, but as they step forward, a clanging sound rang out through the room, almost like an alarm. Then the machinery began to move and spring to life, clearly intent on attacking any intruders.Two ancient artillery pieces began to turn and fire, while a large stone golem lumbered forward. Aceline turned invisible and threw a flask of flaming oil into the fir[...]

Session: The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43:: A Fleeting Taste of Victory

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 23:59:07 +0000

by gamer99

I have just experienced the Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat. I have played this game on two different occasions during the last couple of days, and I have never run across a Capital ship. Today, in September of '39, my VIIB U-Boat came across not one, but two Capital ships in the British Isles. The chances of that happening are incredible (actually they are 1295-1, which is still incredible). My initial mission began in the normally dull fashion of not encountering anything in either the Bay of Biscay or in transit. When I hit the British Isles, however, everything changed dramatically. I immediately encountered the battleship Malaya, which has the most tonnage of the Capital ships. We sank her immediately with our four steam torpedoes, thereby earning me the Knight's Cross upon my return to the Fatherland. Ah, yes, the Thrill of Victory! And even though Capital ships are heavily escorted; these destroyer captains must have been fairly inept, because I escaped detection without a trace. I no sooner left the ill-fated Malaya, than I encountered a second Capital ship, the carrier Courageous. I threw everything I had at her, and damaged her severely, but couldn't take her down. Her destroyer captains were of a different breed, however, and kept pounding me into submission. Right off the bat I suffered hull damage, lost my hydrophones, and had my doctor killed and first officer wounded. Next I suffered damage to one of my electric engines, additional hull damage, my deck gun knocked out (which I couldn't use because of the escorts), and my forward torpedo doors jammed (although I had finished firing all eight steam torpedoes, as well as my four electric torpedoes through the forward torpedo tubes previously). I had endured four hull hits already, so I was hesitant about exceeding test depth. Even though I couldn't take proper evasive action because of the inoperable hydrophone, I doggedly followed the severely crippled Courageous in a last-ditch effort to sink her with my final aft torpedo. Ah, but it wasn't to be, as the Courageous sent me to my watery grave instead - and that is the Agony of Defeat! The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43 - what an enjoyably tense game to play, and a truly incredible gaming session I just experienced.

Session: Wings of Glory: WW1 Rules and Accessories Pack:: Reconnaissance Mission

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:53:26 +0000

by KentuckyBristle A good friend brought his 10-year-old son over last Friday for some gaming. We debated whether to play X-Wing Miniatures, Memoir ’44, or Wings of Glory. Wings of Glory won out.My friend got out his new Ares game mat, which I hadn’t seen in person. I thought it was very attractive, with very nice colors.We decided on a simple scenario: I would fly a 2-seater Breguet 14B2 to photograph a train tunnel in enemy territory; my friend’s son flew a SPAD XIII and a Sopwith Camel as escorts. The location was patrolled by four enemy aircraft: 2 Fokker Dr. 1’s, an Aviatik D.1, and a Fokker D. VII (I think).Although my friend’s four enemy fighters made a formidable screen, they also had the disadvantage of being controlled by one player. Four planes is a lot to handle, especially since none of us are experienced players. What that boiled down to was this: The Germans flew like rookies. One flew right off the board before combat really even started.I slowly maneuvered my Breguet to the right, to let the eager 10-year-old get out in front to attack and draw their fire. The Camel accidentally took a wrong turn to the right, alongside the Breguet, while the speedy SPAD quickly moved ahead and tangled with the enemy, taking heavy fire but fighting back ferociously. One of the Fokker Dr. 1’s stayed to keep the wounded SPAD occupied while his two remaining comrades turned toward the Breguet. As the Central powers aircraft swept back toward the Breguet, the two-seater and the Camel opened fire; the pilot of the Fokker D. VII was hit by gunfire but, before he even had time to feel much pain, his plane exploded! The Central Powers’ most formidable fighter was now plummeting fragments (Boom!)The SPAD XIII, recovering from both right- and left- rudder jams, rejoined the fray as the Breguet executed a stall over the target, taking valuable photos for analysis back at base. Meanwhile, the Camel claimed another victim: A Fokker Dr. 1 fell from the sky near the other German plane.The lone surviving German pilot, showing a mixture of intense courage and foolishness, made a suicidal attack run on the badly damage SPAD, but crossfire from its enemies sent him to smoking ruin.The Entente aircraft headed home, mission successful, with no lives lost on their team.Despite superior numbers, the defenders had a big disadvantage in having one player keeping track of four planes—I think that even with an experienced player, this would have been too much. That is just too many maneuver decks to keep track of. Flying one plane off the playing area, then drawing the “boom” damage card for another plane shortly after, put my friend’s Central Powers defenders on the ropes. The ten-year-old piloted his two planes with enthusiasm, but even two decks is a bit of a challenge for a youngster who only plays the game occasionally (it had been a very long time for each of us, but not for lack of desire!) But he really got into it; I let him be in charge of what our strategy would be. As the player w[...]

Session: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet:: The Intro Scenario, Narrated (MILD SPOILERS)

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:53:12 +0000

by cmmayo What follows is my session of the First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet intro scenario. Written from the point of view of the lead engineer.-----------------------MAKE YOURSELVES AT HOMEw/ the SmithsPERSONAL LOG: Nelson Smith, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, NASA(On normal difficulty, using "corrected" greenhouse to astronauts rule: one less)Intro: My name is Nelson (Nelly) Smith, and I'm the engineering leading this two-man Mars mission to set up a second farm in the site 1 HUB. I am accompanied by my wife Sonia, a Geologist and Rover Specialist. The paperwork includes an optional rover salvage mission, but I plan to make this a tight mission focused on the main goal. And I want to limit the danger that comes with leaving the HUB. It will be a tough sell because Sonia knows there's a volcano nearby and she wants to look around. Volcanoes made her famous. On Earth, anyway. I'm hoping they choose us for the First Martians program. I want to retire here and my wife likes the scenery. Win/Win.Day One: Of course the first thing that happens is an O2 leak while Sonia was sleeping in the crew quarters. She woke up in a panic, struggling for air. She needs some time tomorrow to get back on her feet. I got the stupid backup solar panels running, though. Sonia was shaking for a long time. Bad start.Day Two: First thing we did was hook up the ARA to Sonia to monitor her oxygen levels as she recovers. Mainly an excuse to get her to relax in the quarters until tomorrow. I'll be shorthanded today and maintenance on the blocks is behind. Still, I get lucky and the new O2 unit is built. I finished connections on the new solar panels, but I must've kicked dust onto the old ones because their output is down. Still, we're okay on power for now.Day Three: This morning I expected an upset Sonia's going to be mad when she sees the battery is dead in the Froggy. I bet she wants to explore. This is what I'm thinking as I see her back the Scorpio into the back with a mess of salvaged parts. "I found the junked Russian rover. Must've been servicing a reactor that went bad." Great, I thought. Radiation. "I didn't get out," she reassures me. Meanwhile, the rest of the day went well for me. Until the greenhouse fell on me.Day Four: Whatever was leaking in the living area finally blew. As usual, Sonia took the brunt and inhaled some of the resulting smoke. She's out with a throbbing headache while the robots and I repair the air exchange and finally get the farm set up. The PC for the backup farm is nowhere to be seen. I'm going to have to steal the one from our quarters. Minor problem compared to Sonia's adventures with there. I wonder if Mars is the problem or is it us and our crap?Day Five: Early morning we realized the air in the lab was contaminated. Minor issue, except the planting equipment is in there. Not sure we can wait it out. Still, the farm itself needs a lot of work ahead of planting tomorrow. I shock myself using the Russian parts Sonia found instead of the ones designate[...]

Session: Legendary: X-Men:: Dark Phoenix - the other world killer

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:53:06 +0000

by ncannelora As I mentioned in my Session post for Onslaught, my son and I like to work our way through expansions systematically. Well, we have now fought Dark Phoenix 2 times... and we've beaten her 2 different ways.We had saved Dark Phoenix as the penultimate Mastermind, because she seemed obviously tough. I mean, when you realize the ramifications of her Master Strike, it doesn't take a genius to realize that she's going to wreak serious destruction.In our first game, we went with all of the Piercing Energy heroes, with Banshee, Legion, Phoenix (adding layers to our story!), Polaris, and Psylocke. This had as much to do with being intimidated as it did with just wanting to get another good feel for the new mechanic.Because of our timing, saving Dark Phoenix for a while, we had limited Schemes that were unused at that point, so we went with Dark Phoenix Saga. We were figuring it might be the easiest we had left, and also it fit with the Mastermind so perfectly, even if it was a bit on the nose. We also used Shi'ar Patrol Cruisers and Shi'ar Imperial Guards.This game was surprising. I expected it to be much more difficult, and much longer. Granted, we were very fortunate to get Banshee's rare pretty early on, but the strategy went a long way for this, too. I focused heavily on recruiting PE, while my son focused on [\\\]. This let him keep the city clean of Jean Grey heroes (who have no printed VP), while i focused on the higher cost villains (Dominating or otherwise boosted, a la Sebastian Shaw) that could be mitigated with PE. When i got Banshee's Rare into circulation, it was pretty easy to start dropping Dark Phoenix, too.The Master Strikes did land 3 times, and it was demoralizing to be sure. However, it was less problematic than expected... In review of that first game, i realized: 5 Master strikes, 5 hero classes... Dark Phoenix is just like the other world killer: Galactus. 5 Strikes and you're out.So, we decided to play her again.For our second go-round, I was looking for a more thematic set up. By this time, we had played all of the X-pension cards, so we were a little more free to pick anyone. We wanted to stay true to the comics, so we went with Banshee, Col/Wolvie, Cyclops, Kitty Pryde, and Storm. We still used the Dark Phoenix Saga and Shi'ar Imperial Guards, but this time we swapped in the Hellfire Cult, just to change something else a bit.In this game, things went considerably differently... In our first game, we seemed to see more Scheme Twists, which kept the Jean grey cards out of our hands for much of the game. This time, she seemed to be sticking around a bit more for us. But, the other notable difference, is that we had precious little PE before all of our Ranged (Blue class, we simply call them "energy") cards were consumed in a conflagration. Bye-bye Banshee My son did manage to snag one of Banshee's uncommons and his energy common, so he had access to a possible 5 PE... eventually also getting one of his covert commons[...]

Session: Terraforming Mars:: First solo play, kinda nonplussed but ...

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:53:04 +0000

by Talmanes

So, I love Terraforming Mars, with 50+ plays behind me and no end in sight. Until today though, it was all multiplayer. I found myself home alone with nothing else to do, so I decided to give solo a whirl.

Drew Saturn Systems and Ecoline. This seemed like a nobrainer, I want to win my first game right? And Ecoline seems like an easy ride so I grab it.

First generation I take a standard action ocean. This gives me a greenery up front of course, and also enables my next combo, adaptation technology + nitrophilic moss. Next gen I draw arctic algae, and everything looks good.

I didn't get any heat going until gen 6 or 7, but then drew GHG factories and micro mills. I was still a little worried though. Then I drew standard technology. From there out it was just a steady ride on the TR track, taking only cards that gave global parameters, grabbing tons of placement bonus plants and MC, and using a bunch of standard action asteroids. Finished terraforming in generation 13 ... with zero cards left. Gen 14, drew 4 junk cards and tossed them, and found myself staring at 110 MC and nothing to do. I could have spammed standard action cities but at this point I was feeling a little underwhelmed and didn't even want to count the score. Playtime was about 45 minutes, not counting setup/teardown.

Blue cards played, in order:
adaptation technology
arctic algae
standard technology

Green cards in order:
nitrophilic moss
solar wind power
great dam
GHG factories
micro mills
black polar dust

Red cards in order:
big asteroid
ice asteroid
convoy from europa
special design
permafrost extraction (at -16!)

Overall this felt kinda meh. I played a few combos, but mostly just churned out greeneries and standard actions. It felt fairly ... algorithm-ish.

I imagine to some extent this is because I overemphasized terraforming. I wanted to win, but it turns out I could have afforded to buy and play a few VP engine cards that I tossed. That might have made it more interesting. So, perhaps it was my own solo noob fault? Or maybe I'm just not a solo guy. Is so much reliance on standard actions typical?

Anyway, I think I will try again sometime with a different approach and see what happens.

Session: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader:: The Air War Begins - campaign results and thoughts on this campaign. A lot of fun!

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:38:31 +0000

by aikidorat Airwar Begins Campaign, Aug - Dec 1942Overall summary:Fun campaign, and I like the fact that I have limited BGs and FGs to choose from. Overall I think this scenario is pretty balanced and I had a great time playing it. FLAK was murderous, and I had plenty of targets to choose from. I like the secondary missions and think they add a lot to the base game.My overall result was Adequate, and I am satisfied with that result. I had tough decisions to make and had to have decent rolls to get the result, so its not impossibly hard nor ridiculously easy to win.I found that I grew attached to my groups but never really felt threatened about losing them. I did have to rest the groups a couple times during the campaign, but not nearly as much as having to rest pilots in TAL due to stress. It was awesome seeing them promote frequently, and their skills change. I did not lose anyone to reassignment but it was nerve wracking to roll at the end of each month.I didn't really fear the LW squadrons, though in an earlier campaign I did have a few really chew up the BGs. This time I was able to shoot down more LW squadrons (Anderson’s out of the sun tactic is AWESOME!) and the LW rolls were not as good. I did do better mission planning to avoid those on the map, even if it meant flying further and leaving the fighter cover behind.Finally I am shocked at how many bombers I lost (~775). It didn't really feel like it as I was playing, but what a price was paid for the adequate result.Overall, fun game! I enjoyed this mission and can see playing this one numerous times.On to a brief summary of the campaign:Options: Intel, Weather, Fighter Engagement = +32 SOInitial groups:44th BG (Rookie)91st BG / Wray (Rookie)306th BG (Green)305th / LeMay (Average)4th FG / Anderson (Green)RECON: Purchase 2 4 SO unitsSecondary Mission: Oil Factories (Sperrle)Initial LW tech being researched - FLAK Radar.. that will hurt later on. I am not going to buy the Commander that allows one early tech but will take my chances.Strategy:With the Oil Factories as a secondary mission, and needing 10 Airfield VPs, I plan on going after the airfields for the first 2 weeks, then oil factories the second 2 weeks, and adjust as needed. I plan on buying a couple additional BGs and another FG - would like to have 7-8 BGs and 2 FGs as I think that is a reasonable amount for this campaign (and I think having too many BGs takes some of the drama out of the game, based on my playing so far).Initial LW squadrons are scattered around the map, with the edges well protected but the middle area, where most of my targets are, are less defended. Monthly reports as follows. This isn't meant to be a very detailed after action report, but more give the flavor of the campaign as it progresses.Aug 1942: The campaign did not start off very well in August - I only managed to destroy one target (AF08) and damage a few others. The LW resp[...]

Session: Xia: Legends of a Drift System:: First play behind me. Few Questions and thoughts!

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:13:29 +0000

by Meltyman

Stats from the game:
- I have the original game, and printed some stuff from the expansion for this game. (i ordered the expansion also, but it comes next month)
- 4 players
- We played to 10 FP
- NPC's included
- We used the mission draw rule, where you select the mission card end of turn
- We used the economy board
- We used the new exploration tokens
- We used the rule where dying doesn't cost you a turn, but you respawn with damage tokens (ship lvl determines how many tokens)

Stuff that i couldn't figure out during the game:
- Does merchant spawn to the map (the first chance it has to do so), if the conditions are met during setup?

- Where does an NPC stop movement, when it reaches its destination? For instance if scoundrel goes to loath, does the player moving it decide where inside loath it ends movement?

- If i die to a square where there is an exploration token, will i pick it up or will i die before i can take it?

Random thoughts:
- This game is fantastic. Total randomfest, but it gives you lots of options to discover. So much stuff that change from game to game. Titles, tiles, ship abilities, missions. The expansion seem to add to this, which sounds awesome.

- Drawing six or more mission cards and selecting _one_ end of turn seems excessive. We thought about houseruling this so that you can only pick from three per turn. Arguments over this?

- So little annoyance, but why does the first lvl ship and say research missions look the same??? so weird when you look across the table and can't really tell the difference. (sure the revealed mission has money over it, but still).

Session: World in Flames:: Game Report #27 : Winter is Coming

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:13:14 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Nov / Dec 42It's politics time and the CW realise, finally, that the Rumanians are not aligned to Germany and although stacked under Italy on the Political marker could be moved. This is positively shouting out for some coup action as there is absolutely nothing to lose (except for the cost of the coup) and after a bit of clever bid work the CW go first and roll the magic 3 Dice Coup! The three dice of influence moves Rumania out Fascism and back to neutrality. The German army is forced to leave Rumania and reposition a couple hexes south in Bulgaria. No one saw that coming. Not even Brandon Stark.The Japanese offer another pact to Italy (now renamed the Pact of High Density Polyethylene).The Germans ponder ……. then go back to expanding their European police state by quelling resistance in Greece (-3) with another big roll. Russia takes bid points, France gears up (really?) and Italy takes the Japanese pact (now level 3 which means we can probably expect a lot of Japanese tourists in Florence). The USA takes bid points; several gear ups are available next turn.Democrats win military initiative, Russia next then the Fascists trail in third, the weather is fine everywhere!Naval actions chosen, convoy lines repaired, several searches yield only a lone German CP in the Baltic, elsewhere around the globe the allies fail to find any of Greg’s many, many ships. Russia up to the table, land option chosen (fine weather remember, fight fans), and two attacks launched. The first on the City of Minsk fails to deliver a result but does weaken the defence, attackers all flipped. In the South after a bit of a dog fight, the Russian airforce although somewhat outclassed, downs a bomber and a succeeds in holding the odds at a reasonable level. Then after a rules debate on defensive HQ support the attack goes in and the Germans are rolled over, 2 corps gone the Russians all upright.The Fascists then come to the table, Japan & Italy go naval but no big news, Germany goes land, pulls back south of the Pripets to shorten the line and then counter attacks from Minsk, 2 Russian bombers downed and the hex cleared, Koniev sent to the production spiral & an INF & AT destroyed. Looks like many Soviets will need to die before Berlin falls.It’s now 1am and our brave boys are weary, let's come back tomorrow for more fun & games....A new day dawns, cold gray with a feeble British dusting of snow, well outside at least, inside in the WIF world it’s still fine everywhere, even in Nov/Dec, there is more naval activity from the Democrats and all the US search rolls continue to fail (by some margin).Russia is next and launch an attack just south of the Pripets, both sides fly aircraft but two of the Germans never return, +9 on the blitz die roll 9: result -/R another hex taken (but not enough killing for my liking, observes a US senator on a f[...]

Session: B-17 Flying Fortress Leader:: Two months in...

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:51:16 +0000

by lschroeder A brief summary:Began August '42 using all optional rules and full campaign SO's etc.Luftwaffe lead by Schmidt."A" Flight chosen in August:4 FG, Spit, Anderson Commanding91 BG, B-17, Wray Commanding93 BG, B-24305 BG, B-17, LeMay Commanding, he will also continue as Wing CommanderWeek 1: Target Abbeville Airfield.Target destroyed, Spits get 2 kills, 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 lost to flak.Week 2: "B" Flight added:31 FG, Spit92 BG, B-1744 BG, B-34303 BG, B-17Target: B Flight, St. Omer Airfield.2 Spits KIA, 1 FW-190, Flak ineffective, medium damage to airfield.Target: A Flight, Woippy Aircraft Factory.91 BG fails rendezvous, Luftwaffe and Flak ineffective, medium damage to factoryWeek 3:B Flight adds 301 BG, Retargets St. Omer Airfield2 Spits KIA, 1 Me_109, 1 B-24 and 1 B-17 lost to Flak. Target destroyedA Flight Retargets Woippy Factory4 FG kills one Fw-190, 2 b-24's lost to Flak, Target destroyedWeek 4:A Flight adds 97 BG, Target LeMans Aircraft Factory, Spits kill 1 FW-190, Spits take 2 KIA from ME-109, 1 B-17 lost to Flak, target heavily damaged, 97 BG kills an Me-109 on return leg.B Flight Target Villacoublay Aircraft Factory,Spits 3 KIA from veteran FW-190s and after two rounds leave the bombers unattended due to stragglers. FW's attack 92 BG and cause 6 KIA B-17's, Flak over the target 2 B-17 and 2 B-24 KIA. Bombs cause heavy damage and incendiaries destroy the target. Allies advance to Tunis, Red Army remains defending Stalingrad. OKH demands 3 squadrons be sent to the Ostfront. Schmidt thinks this is overkill, but understands strategic priorities.SeptemberWeek 1:B Flight gets Raper as Flight Commander, Retargets LeMans (it is a bit easier of a target than A flight will get, and A Flight has better fighter cover). 3 B-17 KIA by Flak, target destroyedA Flight Target Bergen Airfield, Spits miss rendezvous, 1 B-17 KIA over North Sea by an ME-410. 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 KIA Flak. Target destroyed.Week 2:B Flight Target Amsterdam Factory, Target destroyed, no lossesA Flight Target Strasbourg Factory, Spits kill FW-190 and ME-109, 4 B-17 and 2 B-24 KIA Flak...(poor intelligence hurt them) Target destroyed.Week 3:A Flight Target Villacoubay Airfield, Spits kill two FW-190's, 305 BG kills FW-190, ME 410 kills 2 Spitfires. 6 B-17 KIA Flak. Target destroyedB Flight Target Nantes Airfield, 5 Spits KIA by veteran FW-190's, 3 B-17s KIA by them as well. 1 B-24 and 1 B-17 KIA Flak, poor weather and poor intel. hurt the bomb run, light damage to target.After several promotions over the last 7 weeks 4 FG Spitfires and 303 BG are reassigned to assist in the campaign in North Africa and prepare for the invasion of Sicily. This leaves A Flight with no fighter cover! LeMay questions this decision, but Col. Spaatz curtly informs him that there is a ground war going on in Tunisia and that his opinion is noted[...]

Session: World in Flames:: Game report #26 : Eastern Front? Nein danke.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:50:50 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Sept/Oct 42Politics: Russia takes bid points, Japan offers a level 3 pact to Italy (The Pact of Linear Low Density Polyethylene?), CW also takes bid points, Germany totally quells resistance in Syria (Adolf really, really isn’t keen on resistance), Italy accepts the Japanese pact (known in Italy as the Pact of Travertine) then France offers a pact to the USA who accept (Pact of Mac ‘n Cheese). (That’s enough pacts – Ed.)Russia wins initiative followed by the Democrats, Fascists last (Last? No, no - 3rd. That’s a bronze medal – Ed.)Russia calls a land impulse and ground strikes Minsk: the bombers miss but do shoot down a German fighter (the pilot survives & is sent for ‘retraining’). Then they blitz off a German INF just across the border in neutral Romania but are careful not to follow up into neutral territory. More planes are flown forward for the next impulse.Democrats up and go naval, after much shuffling the Med Fleet sorties from Gib and with the help form the good folks in Bletchley catches the Vittorio Veneto alone. Using every CV bomber to hand they succeed in sinking the Italian (how can the Italians have any capital ships left after all this time?). The Swedish fleet sorties and catches the Germans in the Baltic (again) killing the Convoy and sending 1 of the 2 boats back home to Germany. The US uses a couple of subs in the Pacific to no avail (search rolls are still not happening) and the CW sink a Convoy in Mozambique Channel.The Italian response brings Task Force Rapido (what they hell has he got to put in a task force) back out and they catch Task Force Med, 4 CVs plus 12 cruisers, in an extended gunnery duel (3 rolls in a row generating 6 surprise). The Cadorna, Orion and Cornwall are sunk and 3 RN CAs damaged for 2 Italian, but Force Z is reduced to the 4 CVs plus 2 cruisers. The IJN heap more coals on Simon’s head by hitting both sea areas supplying Pearl with subs, cutting supply (search rolls still working for Greg). German troops & planes head east and the front line is beefed upRussia back up, rain now in the Artic so the Soviet high command satisfy themselves with positioning for next impulse & taunting the grim faced Germans.Democrats up, naval actions everywhere, the Swedes clear the German convoy in the Baltic and then the CW engage the Italians in the W Med sinking the Roma and damaging the Lepanto and others (boats, I assume) for the loss of some planes (they shall not be forgotten remembered). Germany goes combined, replaces the convoy in the Baltic with a covering Nav, then troops & planes head (reluctantly) for the front lines while the Komet pops out of Luanda and sinks 3 convoys then heads back to port sharpish. Japan invades & captures Zanzibar, Aden & Columbo and moves troops forward in Australia and New Zeala[...]

Session: Sentinels of the Multiverse:: The Futility of Memory (was to have been entitled "Nightmist vs. Iron Legacy Vs. Zhu Long: A Virtually Never-Ending Stalemate")

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:58:39 +0000

by collectible cardinal Something a little different this time; rather than attempting to play a new game of SOTM, I’m going to try and reconstruct the last non-solo game I played, from back on the first day of the month, which was so grueling a challenge that it nearly made me quit playing (not in the sense of “I hate this game now”, but simply “I’m done, that’s all there is, nothing can reasonably follow from here”). This was a battle against Iron Legacy in the Temple of Zhu Long; you’ll see both of these again before I’m finished with SOTM solitaire, but in this case, I was playing with four other people from one of my regular game groups (we’ll call them Alex, Barb, Carl and Doug – Barb and Carl are a couple, and Doug was a newcomer to the group). Knowing that we were up against the very worst villain in the game, I played my single strongest hero, Nightmist, whose ability to become completely invincible has historically been crucial to my ability to deal with the deadliest villains. Before the game was over, all of the other heroes were dead, and all but one of them had been resurrected with Rites of Revival (one of them was raised twice), as I put my entire deck into my hand, dealt with repeated flickers in my invincibility shield, and struggled to find some way of keeping damage on IL before he could heal back up. It took exactly as long for me to finish him off as it did for him to run through his deck (with one or two Mistbounds to hold him back from reshuffling and getting back his defense tech), whereas the Temple of Zhu Long was quickly strip-mined down to about five cards which repeatedly shuffled themselves over and over (it has since been pointed out that I had misread the abilities of the Shinobi Assassin, and thus they should have remained in the deck and caused all manner of trouble during this loop; as I perform this recreation, I will reproduce that rules error). This miserable experience of having to repeatedly run through the enviro deck, carefully computing exactly what happened in an attempt to prove that I was getting a legitimate win, nearly put me off my long-lived love of the game.So exhausted was I by this experience that I took about a week to recover from it, and then got distracted from performing this reconstruction by real-life events for the following week; this has allowed me to forget many specific details of the way this game played out (and the fact that I played both Legacy and Wraith in the two following solo games, reorganizing their decks so that I can’t guess at how they were played earlier, didn’t help – and Nightmist’s deck was shuffled during that game, probably twice or more, so I can’t reconstruct her early plays either). Thusly, rather than trying to precisely replicate th[...]

Session: Everything vs. Everything:: Super team vs. Director's Space Team

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:54:44 +0000

by DocSavage2001 The last time I played, I got my butt kicked by The Director. This time, the fates smiled on me, though I DID still have my challenges at a couple points.My Team: Superman, Darth Vader, Super Mario, Master Chief, Sonic the HedgehogIn Reserve: B'elanna TorresAlready I knew I had a REALLY powerful team. B'elanna might look a little out of place with the rest of the heavy hitters here, but she has a power to turn any energy (your cards) into Mystical Energy (Suit: Diamonds) and Darth has an attack with three Diamonds that does 6 damage. Add in Master Chief giving everyone Boost tokens and I felt really good before even SEEING the Director's team.The Director's Strategies: Attack and Move, Boost, AttackThe Director was determined to go all out offensive, with no special abilities to mess me up.Too bad the team The Director chose didn't match the chosen strategies. The Director seemed to be going for some kind of Space/Sci-Fi theme for the team he/she/it chose:The Director's Team: Yoda, Glados, The Daleks, Captain Mal from Firefly, Lilo and StitchIn Reserve: ???Now I knew I was really in good shape. Three of the five starting characters for The Director didn't/don't actually attack, so the Attack and Boost abilities were going to be useless for them. Mostly. Glados "attack" was SOOOOOOO annoying this game (flip all HP dice to their opposite sides - Darth Vader would go from 18 HP to 3 HP). Only The Daleks and Captain Mal do actual damage. (Though if Yoda had been successful in ANY of his attempts to swing Darth Vader back to the Light Side, things COULD have been much different.)Choosing random starting positions for the Director's team, the game started like this:Of course, Lilo and Stitch (who you can't hurt or kill really) ended up in front of Vader, and since no character were in empty field positions, Superman was neutered at the beginning since he had no place to fly to to go all Injustice on anyone. Turn 1: from the Attack strategy, Captain Mal randomly drops 10 damage on Master Chief and he's already down to 2 HP before I can do anything. On my first turn, even with Superman granting an extra Energy, I don't have ANYTHING I can do! Maybe I overestimated things?Turn 2: Now The Daleks do 8 damage to Sonic and Glados flips everyone's HP dice. Good for Master Chief, bad for most everyone else. (Superman stays the same!) Super Mario heals everyone on my team, Darth Vader yanks Yoda in front of him in place of Lilo and Stitch and does 6 to Yoda (who I consider the biggest threat on The Director's team since he can turn Vader). Now the Master Chief can't attack with Lilo and Stitch in front of him now. Two of my team can't attack now and Super Mario, who I had planned on running end to end dealing damage, can't, because[...]

Session: Axis & Allies:: A Crushing Axis Defeat

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:09:13 +0000

by aaj94 We sat down to a three-player game of Axis and Allies and our Axis player requested both civilizations. We had a more experienced player willing to play them but we gave them to the newer player at his insistence. I played the United States and Russia, and the most experienced of the three of us played Great Britain. We would cruise to a fairly easy Allied victory. Russia started out by pouring everything into infantry, as it needs to, and consolidating its position in the east. I took West Russia as a starter and made my line on West Russia, Archangel, and Caucasus. Then, I moved everything forward to the western half of Russia. I consolidated my eastern forces in the Yakut SSR, abandoning my two far east provinces to Japan. They would take them, but Yakut would not ever be attacked and this relieved a ton of pressure on Russia. Germany responded weakly -- they did not retake West Russia and largely entrenched along the same line I had drawn. There was one failed battle for the Caucasus but I had placed enough tanks and infantry there to drive off his attack. Plus, anti-aircraft in both West Russia and Caucasus deterred his planes enough that I lost no territory on the first round. This, of course, is exactly the way that Russia wins: a drawn-out troop buildup which buys time for Britain and the US. Britain began to build up slowly, preparing for D-Day and began strafing the german factories immediately. Bizarrely, Germany never ran an economic bombing run on Moscow OR the Caucasus, despite Moscow even being unguarded by AA guns throughout the game (my error).Japan similarly took a wait-and-see first turn, which neutralized all Japanese advantage. They neglected to take my two abandoned Russian territories, and spent their forces on a battle for India, which failed. The Japanese fleet sat still and did not attempt Pearl Harbor or even a takeover of points-less Midway Island, which was unguarded. The United States began the conveyor belt of troops and tanks into Great Britain at this point, and immediately began to build up a destroyer fleet in the Pacific. Incredibly, the entire victory in the pacific would come with only a single troop carrier that was never challenged or attacked throughout the entire game, due to its overwhelming escorts. Japan was also badly distracted with the 'India problem' at this point and actually diverted its battleship to address that problem. --In Round 2, Russia continued to press hard on Germany, and took Norway, which would not be challenged for the rest of the game, despite Germany's troop transport in that sea zone, which persisted for several more turns. This was an immediate economic boost. Also, thanks to some fortified British troops, I was able to move my [...]

Session: Next War: Korea:: Advanced Game, Tactical Surprise (Pusan Nuked), Series Supplement #1

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 16:03:48 +0000

by Diggy18 (I will be posting each game turn in this thread as it plays out, probably one-two turns per week.)Season: SummerOptional Rules: 15.1 Air Cushion Vehicles15.5.1 OPLAN 5029 Leaked15.5.2 OPLAN 3600 Leaked15.10 Busan Nuked15.11 RefugeesRules from Game Series Supplemental #1Cyber Warfare Rules Alternate Advanced Game Air System Optional Rule 1.0 Naval Air Defense UmbrellaOptional Rule 2.0 Stacking for US BCTsOptional Rule 4.0 Ports as Hardened TargetsOptional Rule 5.0 Low Odds AttacksSituation: With tensions peaking, the US sees a widow of opportunity for action closing as the North barrels forward with a program to field multiple nuclear-capable ICBMs. Similarly, North Korean fears of an imminent US invasion cause Pyongyang to see its own window of opportunity closing: either attack now and have a chance of victory, or wait while the US conducts a buildup of forces that the North will have no chance of stopping. While the US, Japan, and ROK conduct some of the largest combined exercises ever, the North fields one long range missile using minimal denial and deception techniques and a second missile using more advanced denial and deception. While the allies are consumed with watching the every movement of these two systems, the North implements a plan to deliver a nuclear payload via shipping container to Pusan. After the explosion, the North denies all culpability and variously blames Islamic terrorism directed at the US forces based there and on an alleged secret ROK weapons program. World opinion is in turmoil with some countries, such as Russia, Iran, Venezuela et. al., supporting the North's version of events. Even the US is uncertain what exactly happened for weeks afterwards. Claiming the US and ROKs would use this as a pretext for invasion, the North invokes its sovereign right of self-defense and invades the South. The ROKs will not accept a second nuclear detonation on their peninsula, and so the allies plan a conventional war to unite the peninsula. Japan’s offer of assistance is accepted excluding the deployment of ground forces. Concept of Operations, North Korea: Main Attack2nd Corps, 5th Corps, the 820th, the 815th and the 806th have the main attack. After penetrating DMZ, conserve combat power until supporting attack in the east succeeds and can begin flanking the ROK forces concentrated opposite 2nd and 5th Corps. As the main attack succeeds in isolating ROK forces within Seoul, the 806th will break away and take population centers deep within the ROK.Supporting Attack1st Corps and the 108th have the supporting attack. They will penetrate the DMZ and proceed south beyond the mountains, then turn west and flank the ROK forces opposite the main [...]

Session: Renegade:: Switches, fireworks, and floods....oh my!

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 14:47:52 +0000


Tilda's run against Alpha-Moby did not go well this evening, it seemed like Alpha-Moby knew my every move, and was always one step ahead, setting me up for trap after trap.

I tried to defeat the first countermeasure by luring sparks onto partitions on four different servers. I thought I was decentralizing the sparks so I could later make my move. Unfortunately when I failed to lure all of the sparks, Alpha revealed his true intent and turned all of the sparks into guardians. Going from zero to three guardians in an instant wasn't a good sign (the Double Switch countermeasure is a nasty copper!).

After that I tried to build a new base of strength by creating a propagator and generating some viruses. This turned out to be another trap. As soon as I had the propagator running Alpha surrounded it with sparks (the Fireworks countermeasure success isn't much of a success).

I ended up fighting a guardian, and losing one of my three viruses. Knowing the guardian would eat my viruses for lunch, I used some stored up cognition to push the two viruses to another partition so I could use them in a later battle. Live to fight another day, and all that.

Unfortunately this lead to the end of my run, as I was stuck on the partition with the guardian. Alpha dispatched yet another spark, and everything cascaded from there: one guardian after another forming around me (spark explosions) until my run came to an end.

I came to sitting in front of my deck and could almost here Mr. Moby laughing his artificial laugh at me over the network.

I was pretty sure my game was over after I failed at Double Switch and had three guardians after the copper countermeasure. But I figured I would play it out and see what happened.

The game leads to a very interesting narrative even once you know you are sunk, so it was totally worth playing right to the end, even though I knew I was toast.

I can't wait to back this tomorrow!

Session: Gloomhaven:: The Five - Session 4 - Spoilers

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:50:42 +0000

by tal342 When we started playing a few months ago, I started a log as a lark. The rest of the group liked it and have been taking turns with the writing. I suggested posting it here. We write these things up after the fact. Sometimes it becomes evident that we made a few errors playing. We "write it up" as a learning experience.SPOILER ALERT - READ AT RISK OF SPOILERS Session 4 - Ruinous Crypt – Ruinous Finances?“Wait! “shouted Quantaro, “We can’t leave yet. I need to stop at the Sanctuary!”“Whatever for?” asked Violet.“Well we are going to a dangerous crypt. Don’t you think that a bit of prayer and a donation is in order?”“Prayer and Donations? I didn’t know you were that religious.”“Well, I haven’t been in the past, but those demons we faced last time got me to thinking that a blessing might be nice. And while I was talking about my adventures over dinner, I was told that a suitable donation at the Sanctuary of the Great Oak will merit a blessing.”“Must be nice to have funds.” Violet shrugged. “I want magic. I want better gear. Heck, I want to eat! There just isn’t any left for blessings. It would be nice however.”The party spent the afternoon at the Sanctuary. It was pleasant enough, even for those without funds for donating. Meditation and such, while Quantaro received his blessings, allowed the entire party to get into a peaceful mood, ready for battle. “Heading out a little late, are we?” The wall guard stated. “No one will be looking for your corpse if you don’t return!”The detour to the Sanctuary had meant that they were starting off later than they had originally planned, but they were determined to venture forward. As dusk settled they heard the howling of wolves, sounding a bit more vicious than normal. They looked at each other, each assessing the others resolve, and it was obvious that the Five were not to be dissuaded by mere wolves.The wolf packed was considerably larger than expected, but still … just wolves. The party continued with a few flesh wounds, but otherwise it reasonable shape.Entering the Crypt, the nightmarish sights, sounds and smells overwhelmed the group. “Uh, perhaps some healing might be in order before we engage.” Suggested Violet.“Good Idea, stand next to me and I take care of it.” Quantaro quickly stated.It appeared that the visit to the Sanctuary had provided benefits that the party would only find out later. It appeared that the cultists were attempting to summon Night Demons, but somehow had only achieved a couple of powerful skeletons. While Quantaro was providing the necessary healing, the res[...]

Session: Aventuria Adventure Card Game:: Solo Short Adventure 1

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:39:00 +0000

by SirRoke Saving Silvana, a 1 Act Adventure in the core Aventuria box. No Spoilers, aside from describing the cards which are known from setup.I will be playing as Mirhiban Al’Orhima, a Tulamydian Mage.As all heroes have, Mirhiban has a "Basic Equipment" built into her hero card. For Mirhiban, that's the "Ignifaxius" magic attack which, if I pay 1 Endurance and Exhaust the card, allows me to test Magic attack skill, which is 14, on a D20, to do 1D6 if successful.Her hero card also lists her other skills: Close Combat (6) and Ranged Combat (8) and Dodge (5), as well as her Special Ability "Knowledgeable: Once per game, shuffle up to 2 cards of your choice from your discard pile into your draw pile. Then draw up to 2 cards."Having set her Life Point Counter to 40 and shuffled her pre-designed 30 card deck. I'm ready to play, so I turn to the Adventure "Saving Silvana".The adventure starts with several paragraphs of narrative followed by a skill test. This seems to be the standard format for Aventuria Adventures. Narrative text followed by a test which can have several game effects.After the first test, there are two more narrative sections with further tests. Three such narrative/test sections seems to be the standard for other Adventures too.For the purpose of this non-spoiler report, let's assume I managed test outcomes that did not change the standard setup.The narratives are followed by a text-box that lists the type of Henchmen used to build the Henchmen deck, the Threat Value which defines the number of Henchmen that will be in play at the start, as well as any additional special cards or effects for this Adventure.First, I have to select Difficulty. I choose Easy but there are 4 levels of difficulty. The Time Scale card for Easy says to place 8 Time Counters on it. These will be removed one by one at the end of each round and the card itself outlines different effects that will occur when the number of tokens left equals certain levels.Silvana has been kidnapped by Pirates and Orcs! So I pull the Henchmen cards with those keywords. One of the very cool and thematic things about Aventuria is the wide variety of Henchmen cards. For example, "Pirates" aren't just 4 copies of a single "Pirate" card. I add "Hook Joe", "Basil the Red" and two "Burkanian Beachcombers" to the deck. The AI for Henchmen is driven by a D20 rolled on for their action and then the result (which some player cards and game elements might affect) is found on their card which then explains what that character does this turn. For example, Hook Joe might do his "Hook Attack" on a 1-2 or a different type of attack up to the re[...]

Session: Sentinels of the Multiverse:: Captain Obvious Sails Again

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 07:43:38 +0000

by collectible cardinal Once again, my recent losing streak has me backing off from Advanced mode, as I take on one of the most fearsome (not necessarily actually hardest, but most demoralizingly front-loaded with difficulty in the early game) of villains. Entirely independently of picking the villain, I also selected as one of my heroes the first promo version of Tempest, who has an interesting interaction with this villain that I’m not sure I’ve ever really exploited, even though I know they’ve met before.La Capitan [75] in Magmaria, versus Kvothe Six-String [23], KNYFE [30], Freedom Six Tempest [25] and The Wraith [26].Setup: La Paradoja Magnifica [15] enters play. Kvothe Adept draws Eydisiar’s Horn, Instrumental Conjuration, Counterpoint Bulwark and Anpunku’s Drum. KNYFE starts with Infiltrate and Obfuscate, Energy Burn, Overdo It and Primed Punch. Tempest has Shielding Winds, Aquatic Correspondence, Chain Lightning and Ball Lightning. Wraith gets Grappling Hook, Combat Stance, and then the same two cards again.Villain 1: Cappy doesn’t flip, and I don’t bother shuffling the villain deck. “Walk The Plank is played, shooting KNYFE [27]. She still has the most HP of the team, so Cappy shoots her again for 3 more [24]. The ship then plays Maria Helena’s Revenge.Kvothe 1: Though it’s always risky to put cards into play, this version of the Argent Adept doesn’t have much of a choice, so he figures he might as well get out in front of it with Instrumental Conjuration, fetching Xu’s Bell. Uses Sympathy on his own deck and that of Tempest, putting Gene-Bound Shackles into play and discarding Musaragni’s Harp. Draws Alacritous Subdominant.KNYFE 1: Plays Energy Burn for 5 total damage to the ship [10]. Draws Focusing Conduit-Blade; that figures.Tempest 1: Plays Chain Lightning for 4 damage to the ship [6] and 5 to Cappy [70]. Destroys the Shackles to draw Otherworldly Resilience, Localized Hurricane, and Vicious Cyclone, plus Reclaim From The Deep.Wraith 1: Grappling Hook gets rid of the Revenge, drawing Suture Self. Activates Stealth and draws Impromptu Invention.Enviro 1: Seismic Defender [10] enters play.Villain 2: Walk The Plank and Maria Helena’s Revenge are shuffled in, then Captain’s Orders enters play, followed by Final Breath [11], and between those events (not that timing is an exact science around this villain), she shoots Wraith for net 1 [25]. Captain’s Orders has Final Breath deal 3 to Kvothe [20], and without awaiting further instructions, he deals 3 more [17].Kvothe 2: Lays down Counterpoint Bulwark, then rin[...]